A 12-year-old boy in Taipei pretty much just lived out everyone’s worst museum-related fear (that doesn’t involve ancient relics coming alive at night) when he accidentally lost his footing and ended up punching a hole through a valuable painting at a Leonardo da Vinci show at Huashan 1914 Creative Park on Sunday.
Surveillance footage released by organizers at “The Face of Leonardo, Images of a Genius” exhibition shows the moment the boy seemingly tripped as he was walking past a 17th century oil painting by Paolo Porpora called “Flowers”. He ended up catching his fall using the 1.5 million USD canvas as support, ultimately puncturing it and leaving a fist-sized tear.
Andrea Rossi, who curated the exhibition, was reportedly ‘shocked’ over the incident but has asked that the boy not be blamed and that his family isn’t forced to pay for restoration work, Focus Taiwan reports. Instead, organizers will ask that the insurance company cover the costs to restore the painting and further compensate its owner.
Around 200 to 300 guests were in the showroom at the time, which is not over the maximum limit, said Sun Chi-hsuan, head of the exhibition co-organizer TST Art of Discovery Co.
Organizers also reasoned that the boy likely wasn’t aware of his surroundings because he was paying close attention the guided tour at the time.
Rossi is now working on repairing the painting with a Taiwanese art restorer before the piece gets shipped back to Italy.
Watch the surveillance footage below:
[Images via cna.com.tw]