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New York City Cow Display Sparks Controversy

06 June 2000

Five hundred stylishly decorated fiberglass heifers are caught in the middle of a New York dust-up bound to leave ranch hands and city folk alike scratching their heads. The cows are supposed to go on display around New York City this summer in a public art exhibit meant to be whimsical and uplifting. But the two Connecticut lawyers organizing New York's CowParade say a preliminary shipment of 50 cows sent by a Swiss business group were poorly made, unstable and prone to catch fire. One lawyer even accused the Swiss of providing Bosnian bovines, instead of ones manufactured in Switzerland. ``These cows really looked like Frankenstein monsters,'' said Daniel Blume, vice president and counsel for the West Hartford, Conn.-based CowParade Holdings Corp.,which is running the New York exhibit. ``Then we went over and tested one, and the results were astounding. We took a hunk of shaving of the cow, and we lit it, and the thing flashed.'' Blume said his organization is buying its cows instead from American suppliers and that he and the Swiss agreed to part ways. Bull, say the Swiss. Kurt Blickenstorfer, president of CowParade Holdings A.G., based in Zug, Switzerland, accused Blume and partner Jerome Elbaum of using the quality issue as a pretext for backing out of their contract.