The fountain of death at Joan Miró Foundation
Mercury is one of the most interesting metals. At the room temperature, it remains liquid. At the same time, mercury is poisonous, and contacting with it may lead to serious health effects. Not a long time ago, though, mercury was actively used in medicine and manufacturing.
The largest mercury reserves are located in Spain, at the Almadén deposit. The world’s first mercury fountain was made by the American sculptor Alexander Calder in 1937, who used liquid metal mercury to create it. Up to this moment, the fountain has been exhibited in a museum of modern art honoring Joan Miró located in Barcelona.
In the beginning, this art object was demonstrated freely. However, in 1950, after learning that mercury fumes are potentially dangerous, the fountain was moved to a special glass box, where it is kept in order to protect the visitors.