In terms of horrifying social faux pas, this has to be one of the worst. At the “Face of Leonardo: Images of a Genius” exhibition in Taipei, Taiwan, a 12-year-old boy trips and uses a painting to break his fall, leaving a fist-sized gash in the bottom corner of the canvas. The terror is apparent in every fiber of that poor kid’s being. He didn’t even want to go to this stupid museum today! He just wanted to stay home and watch TV, and you made him go, Mom!
Oh yeah, and the painting? Valued at $1.5 million.
Luckily for him, the people who organized the exhibit are not making the boy’s family pay for the restoration process. The painting, 350-year-old Paolo Porpora oil on canvas titled “Flowers,” is part of a large collection that has been accumulated from museums and private collections from all over the world. The exhibition’s Facebook page explains it thusly:
“All 55 paintings in the venue are authentic pieces, and they are very rare and precious. Once these works are damaged, they are permanently damaged.”
Damn. The Guardian reports that, according to Tsai Shun-Jen, the chief conservator, the damage will be minimized, but never fully repaired.
“When we start working on the painting’s restoration, the priority is to strengthen its structure, not retouching the paint on the damaged area.”
Good rule of thumb: Always check your shoelaces before you go see expensive art.
(Via the Guardian)