Michelangelo Meets Michelangelo: The Famed Ninja Turtle Visits the Met’s Renaissance Blockbuster

Known for his nunchucks and his love of pizza, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle has also apparently developed a taste for art.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Michelangelo visits the Metropolitan Museum on Thursday, January 25, 2018. Photo by Rebecca Schear, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Cowabunga! It’s not easy to get adolescents excited about visiting a dusty old art museum, but the Metropolitan Museum of Art‘s blockbuster Michelangelo exhibition might just have found a way tailor-made to lure at least one special teen. On Thursday morning, Michelangelo, the legendary teenage ninja turtle, visited the Met’s show dedicated to his Renaissance namesake: “Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer.”

The museum tweeted about his visit early Thursday morning. Despite being a trained ninja, his entrance was anything but stealthy: Appearing in full costume, complete with signature orange mask, Mikey threw his arms up with joy as he entered the show, which has been hailed as “an art historical tour de force” by the New York Times.

The once-in-a-lifetime exhibition has been a smash success for the Met, attracting half a million visitors as of this week, with an average of 7,000 art lovers swarming the exhibition every day, according to an announcement from the museum. That puts it on track to be one of the institution’s top 10 most-visited shows ever before it closes on February 12.

Though “Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer” wouldn’t seem to need the extra push, the appearance of the hero is a clever ploy to draw in young fans via a little Turtle Power.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles originated as a 1984 comic book by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, centering on crime-fighting turtles who happen to be named after artists: Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and, of course, Michelangelo. Trained in martial arts, the pizza-loving humanoid reptiles burst from their home in New York’s subways to fight adversaries ranging from small-time crooks to space aliens.

From its origins, the comic book has grown into cartoons, video games, food tie-ins, tons of merchandise, and six feature films. The latest, the Michael Bay-produced reboot Out of the Shadows (2016), grossed some $245.6 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo.

Thursday’s appearance marks their first-known appearance at a major New York art museum.

See more photos of the collision of the two Michelangelos, below:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Michelangelo visits the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Thursday, January 25, 2018. Photo by Rebecca Schear, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Michelangelo visits the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Thursday, January 25, 2018. Photo by Rebecca Schear, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Michelangelo, aka Mikey, visits the exhibition "Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer". Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Michelangelo, aka Mikey, visits the exhibition “Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer”. Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images.


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