Pennsylvania Museum Visitor Knocks Artist’s Clock Off Wall

Don't. Touch. Anything. In. Museums. Just don't.

A visitor to the National Clock & Watch Museum brutally mistreats a clock by James Borden. Photo via YouTube.
A visitor to the National Clock & Watch Museum brutally mistreats a clock by James Borden. Photo via YouTube.

In a cringeworthy video that should come with a trigger warning, a man visiting Pennsylvania’s National Watch & Clock Museum extensively manhandles a wooden timepiece over a full minute before knocking it off the wall.

“This is why we beg and plead with our visitors to please refrain from touching objects in museums,” writes the museum in the YouTube post, which bears the title “Please Don’t Touch!”

The clock is the creation of Iowa artist James Borden.

“The clock was damaged, but not beyond repair,” Noel Poirier, the museum’s director, told artnet News via email, adding that the museum is working with the artist to fix it. He declined to comment on the clock’s value, and said that the museum does not plan to pursue the incident criminally or in any other way.

The man is plainly trying to manipulate the clock’s system of weights. After catching the clock and attempting to hang it back on the wall, he then places it on the floor.

The couple did, at least, inform museum staff of the incident, which took place on May 31.

The damaged clock, by James Borden. Photo courtesy National Clock & Watch Museum.

The damaged clock, by James Borden. Photo courtesy National Clock & Watch Museum.

The incident is just the latest in which museum and historic site visitors and selfie-takers have damaged valuable objects. A boy punched a hole in a Baroque painting in Taipei in August 2015; another boy, in southern China, recently wrecked a Lego sculpture. The selfie-obsessed have become well known for their ability to damage and destroy statues, including a 19th-century copy of an ancient statue Milan’s Academy of Fine Arts of Brera.

The National Watch & Clock Museum, in Columbia, Pennsylvania, opened in 1977, and has expanded its collection since then from fewer than 1,000 objects to more than 12,000.


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