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Museum Offers Tour Allowing Blind to Touch Artwork

Museum Offers Tour Allowing Blind to Touch Artwork

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- With blue latex gloves on their hands, blind visitors were treated to a hands-on tour of the Utah Museum of Fine Arts.

The special event allowed sightless visitors to touch a statue of French King Louis XIV and tap a statuette of a stone mason to hear the hollowness of the bronze.

"This is a chance to feel what everybody else gets to see," said visitor Matthew Barnhill.

The museum played host to tours for 40 blind visitors Saturday, allowing for the first time a hands-on exploration of its exhibits.

Kira Larkin, vice president of the Utah Council of the Blind, called it an advancement for the blind in a world so often characterized by "No touching" signs.

The museum's accessibility coordinator, Jenny Woods, hopes to make the touch tours a more common occurrence at the museum.

"It's a slightly different way of experiencing art," she said. "But it's certainly a great way to experience art."

------ Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune,

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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