Kids Break Delicate Glass Artwork at Shanghai Museum

The museum is publicly shaming the culprits.

Security footage from the Shanghai Museum of Glass shows that adults pulled out their smartphones to record the kids vandalizing art by Shelley Xue. Image courtesy of the Shanghai Museum of Glass.

“Don’t touch the art” is one of the most basic and broadly understood rules of visiting museums, but unfortunately it’s a rule that not everyone respects, as demonstrated by recent surveillance footage Hyperallergic discovered from China’s Shanghai Museum of Glass. The footage shows two kids breaking a delicate sculpture, while a couple of adults film the careless act on their phones.

The children duck under the barrier and are seen roughhousing close to Shelly Xue’s wall-mounted glass sculpture Angel is Waiting. Instead of pulling the kids away from the artwork, the two adults simply stand there, with their phones held up.

The children proceed to pull on the artwork until the delicate glass inevitably breaks. Only then do the chaperones usher their children away.

The damage is made worse by Hyperallergic‘s revelation (via Arte Magazine) that the artist originally dedicated the work to her newborn daughter and that the painstakingly assembled piece reportedly took over two years to create.

The incident took place at the Shanghai Museum of Glass. Photo: SHMoG via Facebook

The incident took place at the Shanghai Museum of Glass. Photo: SHMoG via Facebook.

Xue resolved not to repair the artwork, but renamed it Broken. She has been exhibiting her glass works for over a decade, and founded the glass studio at Shanghai’s Fudan University in 2007.

It is unclear whether the museum has decided to take legal action against the uncultured culprits, however the Independent reports that a monitor playing the incident is now installed next to the artwork to publicly shame those responsible, and deter future vandals. The museum received over 125,000 visitors in 2015, according to their annual report.

artnet News reached out to the Shanghai Museum of Glass and the artist, but did not receive an immediate response.

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