Boy Trips at Art Museum, Accidently Destroys 350-Year-Old Painting Worth $1.5 Million

A person’s worst nightmare at an art exhibit happened in real life to a 12-year-old boy who broke his fall with a $1.5 million painting.

The 12-year old Taiwanese boy was on a trip to an art gallery in Taipei when he lost his balance and fell fist-first into a painting on display. Footage by CCTV shows the boy falling and catching himself on the 17th-century painting titled “Flowers,” by Italian painter Paolo Porpora. The 350-year-old painting has been valued at over $1.5 million.

The creative arts center, Huashan 1914, was hosting an art exhibition called “The Face of Leonardo, Images of a Genius,” in the capital this weekend. According to FocusTaiwan, representatives of the gallery said the boy was not watching his footing while attempting to focus on the guided tour he was on.

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The incident caught on camera shows the boy dressed in a blue Puma T-shirt tripping over the rope barrier meant to separate visitors from the artworks. While holding his drink in the same hand he punches a hole into the painting to catch hold of himself.

 

When he regains his balance, he stares at the damaged painting and looks around for help.

Fortunately for the boy and his parents, exhibition curator Andrea Rossi knows accidents happen and asks that the family not have to bear the financial burden of restoring the painting. Instead, the gallery will request their insurance company to cover the cost of fixing the tear in the oil canvas.  

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Sun Chi-hsuan, one of the exhibition’s organizers, told CNN:

“I’m actually thinking of asking the boy back to be a volunteer in the exhibition for one day as a penalty.”

The painting is on loan to Taipei for the exhibition and will be restored before going back Italy.

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