Italian Manager Blows Hole Through 18th Century Painting With Wine Cork

200px-Champagne_uncorking_photographed_with_a_high_speed_air-gap_flashAn Italian manager, Roberto Cassago, is a tad embarrassed after an accident that would befit Mr. Bean. He is facing repair costs to an 18th Century Italian painting after he blew a hole through the canvas with the cork of a bottle of sparkling wine. Fittingly enough, it was a painting depicting a battle with knights and their chargers but the addition of the cork missile to the battle scene was a historical as well as an artistic invasion.


Cassago was at a party at the Palazzo Isimbardi, which houses Milan’s provincial government. He is now looking at damages that will exceed 1,000 euros if insurance for the council does not pay cover it.

It makes for an interesting question of negligence. Sparkling wine bottles and corks are designed to satisfy the desire of drinkers for a “pop” and flying cork. However, people are expected to take care in the launching despite a general failure to do so according to American Academy of Ophthalmology which launches an educational campaign on champagne every year. Legally, he is on the hook for the damage though the city council appears to be treating this as a matter for its insurance company.

To make it even more unfortunate, he was only invited to the party because he was passing by the door and called in by friends. He was then invited to open a bottle of the bubbly. Not only that, he is about to retire. Hopefully, his goodbye party at the Palazzo Isimbardi will be confined to a Sangiovese.

le-reve-1932He should not feel badly however. You may recall that Steven Wynn was at an event to sell the “Le Reve,” a portrait of Picasso’s mistress Marie-Therese Walter. While addressing the crowd in front of the new owner, Wynn (who suffers from vision problems) gestured from the painting and put his elbow through it. The sale was called of. The damage was estimated at $45 million.

Wynn bought the painting for $48 million in 1977. Ironically, he sold the painting in 2013 to the original purchaser from the accident, Steven Cohen, who runs S.A.C. Capital, for $145 million. That is $16 million more than it was going for back in 2006 at the end of the elbowing.

9 thoughts on “Italian Manager Blows Hole Through 18th Century Painting With Wine Cork

  1. An Italian gentleman who doesn’t know how to properly open a bottle of sparkling wine? Step one: Don’t allow the cork to turn missile. Following that; enjoy.

  2. “You’ll put an eye out.” A safety tip I learned from an ophthalmologist @ a conference on work injuries. You should NEVER hammer a nail w/o wearing glasses. Microscopic shards of metal fly off the nail and can easily reach your eye. A very common injury.

  3. Lol…. I was going to bring up the Weinberg incident…… Not bad for a guy that inherited a string of bingo parlors on the east coast back in the 60s with $250 million in debt….. I’m sure insurance will pay for it….

  4. there’s an idea for some enterprising entrepreneur. a bottle condom for just such premature expulsion.

    maybe with some protrusions on side for the french.

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