Who's Gonna Pay For It

Boy Trips In Museum, Ruins $1.5 Million Artwork: Parents To Pay?

One 12-year-old boy’s museum trip took an unpleasant turn after he accidentally ruined a million dollar masterpiece.

According to the Guardian, a Taiwanese preteen “lived out a slapstick nightmare.” If you watch the video above, it’s hard to disagree.

The boy was part of a tour of the “Leonardo: Images of a Genius” exhibition at the Huashan 1914 creative arts center in Taipei, Taiwan. In the video, you can see that he’s wearing a blue top, black shorts, and holding a drink. At some point, the youngster was paying more attention to the museum guide than to where he was going. That’s precisely when everything went wrong.

A couple of seconds into the clip and you can see the boy wasn’t paying attention when he suddenly lost his balance. It almost appeared his foot got caught in the rope in front of the “Flowers” masterpiece by Paolo Porpora. The work of the 17-Century Italian Baroque artist was one of 55 masterpieces on display.

By chance, it was the one that the stumbling boy put a fist through as he tried to avoid falling.

You can easily sense the panic on the boy’s face as he looks around — Even if his face is blurred out. No one else in the museum seemed to notice what he’d done at first. Eventually, organizers were notified about the ruined masterpiece. CNN reports that when exhibition organizer Sun Chi-hsuan told museum curator Andrea Rossi about the damaged painting, he was unable to speak for a few minutes.

“When I told the curator, he was so shocked that for two to three minutes he couldn’t utter a single word…But he was actually most worried that the boy and his family would put too much pressure on themselves.”

It’s hard to imagine any parent wants to learn that their little boy ruined a masterpiece worth $1.5 million. The good news for the family is that, because the painting is an insured part of a private collection, they will not have to pay for repairs.

That doesn’t mean the boy who tripped into the painting is completely off the hook for the accident. Said Sun, “I’m actually thinking of asking the boy back to be a volunteer in the exhibition for one day as a penalty.”

Perhaps a little work at the museum will teach the preteen to be a bit more careful in the future. Although a sudden trip that becomes a costly error is often unpredictable in nature, many such incidents can be avoided with a little extra awareness of one’s surroundings.

[Image Credit: Screen Grab From YouTube/Marco Bass]

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