• A dead-fly installation by artist Damien Hirst had to be removed by a German Museum.
  • PETA filed a complaint against the museum, saying the installation violated an animal safety law.
  • A 2017 Artnet article estimated Hirst has featured nearly one million dead animals in his art.

An art installation has created a buzz after Damien Hirst had his art — featuring hordes of flies that die — was removed from a German museum's exhibit.

Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg dismantled the installation "A Hundred Years (1990)" after animal rights group PETA filed a complaint to the city. The city of Wolfsburg then requested the installation be taken down and the museum complied.

Germany's Animal Welfare Act bans the killing or harming of animals without proper reason.

"We thought that flies didn't come under the Animal Welfare Act," Museum Director Andreas Beitin told German newspaper Braunschweiger Zeitung.

Otmar Böhmer, the museum's managing director, told the German Press Agency that they will reach out to Hirst to see if he would be willing to modify the art using artificial flies.

PETA also issued a statement to the paper condemning the exhibit.

"Killing animals has nothing to do with art, it just shows the arrogance of people who literally will stop at nothing for their own interests," Peter Höffken, a representative of PETA Germany, told Braunschweiger Zeitung.

People view a fly-covered cow's head, part of an artwork by Damien Hirst entitled 'A Thousand Years' in the Tate Modern art gallery on April 2, 2012 in London, England. Foto: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

"A Hundred Years" features a glass display subdivided into two parts. One side has flies hatching. The flies then travel through a hole to the other side, drawn in by a bright light that burns the flies to death. A previous version featured a dead cow head that attracted the flies.

Hirst — known for his provocative art featuring dead animals — has drawn ire from PETA and animal rights activists before. A 2017 Artnet article estimated Hirst has featured nearly one million dead animals in his art, most of them insects like butterflies and flies. He remains one of the best-selling living artists.

Hirst did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

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