A couple stuck inside during the novel coronavirus lockdowns have used their free time to made an adorable art gallery for their pet gerbils.
Marianna Benetti and her boyfriend Filippo Lorenzin, both 30 years old, constructed the miniature exhibition last week to keep their pets entertained during quarantine.
The tiny space was furnished with carefully curated rodent-themed takes on classic works of art—including the “Mousa Lisa”.
Benetti and Lorenzin also made mini benches, gallery assistant stools, large print guides, and a sign which read “DO NOT CHEW”.
Although both of their 9-month-old gerbils, Pandoro and Tiramisu, enjoyed browsing the gallery, they did nibble their way through one of the delicately constructed chairs.
Benetti and Lorenzin, originally from Italy, are on day 14 of self-isolation together in their house in London. Museums across the country remain closed due to the coronavirus outbreaks, although many galleries—including the V&A in London where Lorenzin works, are instead offering virtual tours for eager art enthusiasts.
“The original project was for a doll house, but my boyfriend proposed the idea of designing an art gallery complete with all the details,” said Benetti.
The model took four hours to make, and in addition to the pair ensuring that all materials used were gerbil-friendly, they made a blueprint for the design to make sure the proportions were correct for their pets.
As well as the “Mona Lisa”, Benetti and Lorenzin also drew renditions of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream”, Gustav Klimt’s “The Kiss” and Johannes Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring” for their animals.
The creative couple posted a picture of their creation on Reddit and were surprised by the reaction.
“Everyone was overwhelmingly positive. We didn’t expect such friendly feedback, and we look forward to adding more artworks to the gallery,” said Benetti. “It is great to see so many creative suggestions for other paintings from the community.”