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Activists Protest Gas Pipeline Under Whitney Museum’s New Site

Last night the Whitney Museum of American Art’s new Meatpacking District building became the site of a protest organized by activists from groups such as Occupy Museums and Occupy the Pipeline, according to the New York Times’ Melena Ryzik.

The museum’s new Renzo Piano-designed architecture, which has yet to open its doors, became the backdrop to what Ryzik calls a “performance art-style demonstration about a natural gas pipeline that is adjacent to the $422 million building and its vast art collection.” “Warning! High Pressure Gas Line” and “Fracked Gas Line Museum” were some of the slogans projected on the south side of the museum. Installed and operated by Spectra Energy, the pipeline terminates in a vault under the Meatpacking District site.

Added Clare Donohue, program director at Sane Energy Project: “I’m sure that most of the people that will attend the receptions for the opening of the Whitney have no clue that the pipeline is there.”

At Whitneypipeline.org, protesters published a letter questioning the museum’s “fossil fuel infrastructure.” It reads: “How can a museum that literally covers up the dirty fossil fuel industry be a beacon for the future of art and culture?”

According to Hyperallergic, a museum spokesperson has responded to questions raised by saying: “Although the Spectra pipeline does not cross directly onto the museum’s property, we followed the progress of the work because of its proximity to the site. Governmental regulators, who oversaw and monitored the pipeline’s construction, are responsible for ensuring that the pipeline’s ongoing operation meets all applicable standards and requirements.”

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