The coronavirus quarantine has left many of us with extra time on our hands. Some people have taken up baking, others have adopted a new craft, but for one London-based couple, being stuck inside for the foreseeable future resulted in building a tiny art museum for their pet gerbils, Pandoro & Tiramisù. Filippo Lorenzin (an independent curator at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum) and artist Marianna Benetti spent one lazy Sunday—their 14th day in quarantine—meticulously hand-making the incredibly detailed, miniature gallery from cardboard, paper, and wood.
The artistic couple clearly spent a lot of time planning the layout of their gerbil museum and curating the exhibited artwork. “It was fun to make every single detail,” Lorenzin tells My Modern Met. “My partner and I love museums. When we visit a gallery, we always spend time enjoying not only the artworks on display but also the mastery it takes to present them to visitors.”
The opening exhibition features gerbil versions of famous artworks, including Girl with a Pearl Earring and The Scream. The tiny museum even features little cardboard benches and a sign that says “Please Don’t Chew.” The two adorable gerbils are captured on camera enjoying a private viewing of the exclusive show. However, the furry art lovers clearly enjoy breaking the rules—a video captured the cheeky pair taking tiny chunks out of a cardboard stool. Lorenzin and Benetti say, “They came for the paintings, they stayed for the stool.”
Since posting photos and a video of their creation online, Lorenzin and Benetti’s gerbil museum has gone viral. Lorenzin says, “It was surprising to see such a positive response on the Internet, and we both hope this will remind everyone a good experience in a museum and lead them to support these institutions in such an uncertain time.”
Check out the fantastic gerbil museum below and follow Pandoro & Tiramisù on Instagram for more adorable shenanigans.