91-year-old visitor destroys €80,000 artwork in German museum

Published on : Friday, July 15, 2016

artworkA 91-year-old woman accidentally destroyed a precious artwork at the Neues Museum, situated near Nuremberg in Germany. The elderly lady was visiting the museum with a large group.



The destroyed modern art was based on a crossword puzzle and the old lady mistakenly filled it up with a biro. The artwork “reading-work-piece’ looked like an empty crossword puzzle, which was a 1977 piece of art. Arthur Köpcke of the Fluxus movement purposely made it look like a crossword puzzle.



When the police in Germany was questioning the old lady about the incident; they came to know that she was just following the instruction written beside the artwork. There was a sign beside the artwork in question, which said, “Insert words”. Apparently, the lady took the sign as an instruction and she filled in the puzzle.



One of the German police officials informed that the lady had just taken the notes as an invitation and filled in the crossword puzzle. The lady also added that the museum was at fault as they failed to put up a clear sign by the artwork. The lady pointed out that the museum authority should have instructed the visitors not to follow the artist’s instruction.



The director of Neues Museum, Eva Kraus informed that the damage was not permanent and it could be erased and repaired easily. She stated that the museum realized that the lady did not mean any harm.



Kraus added, “Nevertheless, as a state museum couldn’t avoid making a criminal complaint. Also for insurance reasons we had to report the incident to the police.”



The artwork belonged to a private collector, who presented it to the museum for visitors to have a look. The museum authorities informed that the collector took the incident humorously.



The restoration of the artwork will cost the museum authorities about a few hundred Euros. The museum authorities stated that they would make sure that in future none of the visitors fill it up again.

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3 Responses to 91-year-old visitor destroys €80,000 artwork in German museum

  1. Sue Boxell says:

    May I suggest to the writer that is is more respectful to say ‘elderly lady’…

  2. Richard English says:

    Good on the old lady. A blank crossword puzzle is not a work of art; it is a load of rubbish. Maybe the old lady could be employed to get rid of some of the other supposed works of art (such as dirty beds and animals preserved in formaldehyde) so that galleries will be forced to display real works of art.

  3. The heading of News Should be,
    German Museum Authorities Negligence.

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