Of all the boo-boos 2015 has seen so far, we think this one could be one of the most expensive.
According to a short 27-second footage, a young Taiwanese boy followed a museum tour group of the exhibit “The Face of Leonardo, Images of a Genius”, holding a what looks like a can of fizzy pop. Let’s try to not hold that against him right now, because things are about to get worse. He makes a misstep, stumbles, holds out a hand to support himself, and promptly punches a fist-sized hole into a 17th century Paolo Porpora oil painting “Flowers“.
The kid plays it cool, looks around, and is guided away from the painting. No big deal.
Museum staff immediately approached the scene and asked everyone to stay calm and keep together in an orderly fashion. We’re pretty sure that the caretakers and curators were internally screaming.
The painting itself stands at 200 centimeters tall, is around 350 years old, and is priced at $1.5 million US dollars.
Andrea Rossi, the curator of the exhibit, was shocked to hear of the accident, and is discussing plans to have the painting restored in Taiwan within the week before shipping it back to Italy.
At present, it’s reported the boy feels very nervous about the accident — perhaps he now has a clearer understanding of the gravity of the situation — but Rossi asks that the boy not be blamed, and that his family not be asked to pay for the cost of the restoration. Instead, Rossi calls on the painting’s insurance company to cover the cost of the repairs and to compensate the art piece’s owner for the damage.
“All 55 paintings in the venue are authentic pieces and they are very rare and precious. Once these works are damaged, they are permanently damaged…we hope that everyone can protect these precious artworks with us,” TST Art of Discovery said on the Facebook page of the exhibit.
This is the first time a valuable painting on loan to Taiwan has incurred a grave level of damage.
Exhibit staff and tour guides recommend standing 80 centimeters away from the art pieces for safety.
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