Shows & Exhibitions
Boy Accidentally Punches Hole Through $1.5 Million Baroque Painting
The CCTV footage is going viral on social media.
A 12-year-old boy had the worst museum visit ever this past Sunday, at Taipei’s Huashan 1914 Creative Park. The boy tripped and punched a Paolo Porpora painting valued at $1.5 million as he was trying to keep his balance.
According to Focus Taiwan, the boy was with a guided tour group visiting the exhibition “The Face of Leonardo, Images of a Genius,” which gathers 55 paintings by key artists starting from the Italian Renaissance and going up to the 20th century.
The unfortunate incident was captured by CCTV and the footage first shows the teenager, who is holding a soft drink, admiring the Baroque masterpiece with the rest of the group.
Then, as he follows the group towards the next artwork, the boy looks momentarily back to something or someone outside the camera, loses his balance as he bumps against the platform and rope which are meant to protect the artwork, and hits the paintings as he falls, smashing the beverage container against it.
The boy is immediately aware of what had just happened; he looks at the painting and at his cold drink in disbelief for a moment, and you can almost see the blood draining from his face. His supervisor rushes over and, after putting a hand on the kid’s shoulder, leaves to look for a museum official.
Porpora’s Flowers got a fist-sized hole as result of the impact. However, Andrea Rossi, curator of the exhibition, has declared that they won’t ask the family of the boy to pay for the restoration and that the painting is insured (phew).
Rossi has discussed the restoration process with a Taiwanese art restorer but is also considering shipping the 350-year-old masterpiece back to Italy so it can be restored there.
Meanwhile, the exhibition was temporarily closed on Monday morning, but it reopened in the afternoon.
“All 55 paintings in the venue are authentic pieces and they are very rare and precious,” TST Art of Discovery, co-organizer of the exhibition, posted on the exhibition’s official Facebook page. “Once these works are damaged, they are permanently damaged … We hope that everyone can protect these precious artworks with us.”
It could probably take a while before the traumatized boy would visit a museum again.
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