“Flowers”, an oil-on-canvas work by Italian artist Paolo Porpora valued at $1.5 million, is one of the highlights of the show Face of Leonardo: Images of a Genius exhibition in Taipei. That face got something of a black eye when a teenager slipped and put this fist through the painting.
We have previously discussed the time that Steve Wynn, the casino and hotel magnate, put his fist through another masterpiece (Wynn suffers from suffers from the eye disease retinitis pigmentosa which affects his peripheral vision). He was showcasing his “Le Rêve,” Picasso’s 1932 portrait of his mistress, Marie-Thérèse Walter. On the day of the sale, in which the work reportedly was offered at $40 million to hedge-fund mogul Steven Cohen, Wynn was gesturing toward the painting when he put his elbow through it. Cohen promptly declared “no sale.”
Now, a Taiwanese 12-year-old learned to watch his step in embarrassing fashion over the weekend after he tripped, fell, and punched a hole “the size of a fist” through a 17th-century painting while trying to brace himself. We have also seen people intentionally put their fists through paintings.
The more common cases of art damage involve cases of falls or trips or slips.
The boy was in a tour group and listening to the guide when he tripped. He was also carrying a can of soda which was bizarre since most shows and museum strictly forbid beverages around pieces of art like this. Nevertheless, it was an innocent accident with horrible consequences.
The family will not be asked to pay for the costly restoration. It was a scene out of Mr. Bean or some slapstick film as the boy freezes while viewing the results.