Museum offers chance at true love, for a kiss

By Maria Danilova

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, Sept. 8 2012 12:05 a.m. MDT

A Canadian-Ukrainian artist Taras Polataiko looks on at one of the Ukrainian women, dressed in white wedding gowns, who take turns sleeping on display in the museum for a couple of hours every day during his new art project called 'Sleeping Beauties' in The National Art Museum in Kiev, Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 7, 2012. Based on the fairytale 'Sleeping Beauty', the idea of the art-exhibition is for visitors to look at a sleeping girl, and, if they feel the urge, kiss her on the lips. If a sleeping beauty opens up her eyes she's obliged by a legal contract to marry the man. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Associated Press

KIEV, Ukraine — Looking for true love? Fall asleep in Ukraine's top museum and wait for a kiss.

A Ukrainian-Canadian artist is presenting an interactive art project called "Sleeping Beauty," in which five attractive young women take turns sleeping under dim lights in Kiev's top gallery, each under a pledge to marry the visitor who wakes her with a kiss.

Any unmarried museum-goer can kiss the woman in the hope of making Beauty fall in love and awaken.

Taras Polataiko, a Ukrainian-born artist now based in Canada, says the goal of his exhibit is to recreate the famous fairy tale and witness the birth of love.

But it also has political undertones, symbolizing the patience of the Ukrainian people trapped by what he calls the oppressive government of President Viktor Yanukovych, and hopes that the nation will one day awaken to true freedom.

"I am turning the fairy tale into reality, the Prince fell in love with her deeply, strongly and this love woke her up," Polataiko told The Associated Press. "Strong love happens by chance."

The nearly three-week exhibit ends Sunday, and so far only one Sleeping Beauty has woken up to a kiss — only to discover that her Prince Charming was actually a princess. It is unclear what the two women will do now, given that Ukraine forbids same-sex marriage and that Princess Charming has a boyfriend of her own.

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