Little boy punches hole on million-dollar painting

Taiwanese kid with cup in hand on his museum trip stumbles and tears through 17th-century oil on canvas by Italian master

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A 12-year-old Taiwanese boy having a day trip in "the Face of Leonardo: Images of a Genius exhibition" in Taipei at the weekend smashed a hole in the middle of a masterpiece valued at $1.5 million.

On the footage the Face of Leonardo: Images of a Genius exhibition organisators shared, the little boy seen in shorts and a blue T-shirt carrying a drink, is walking past the still life, catching his foot and braking his fall with a 350-year-old painting, a work of Italian painter Paolo Porpora.

The boy looks up at the oil on canvas painting of flowers and freezes with the hole on the painting.

According to Focus Taiwan news, the organisers will not claim the expenditure for the restoration of the art piece from boy’s family.

The exhibition organiser Sun Chi-hsuan said the painting was part of a private collection and covered by an insurance policy.

“The painting was very fragile due to its age.When we start working on the painting’s restoration, the priority is to strengthen its structure, not retouching the paint on the damaged area,” said the chief conservator of the exhibition.

The oil painting subject to the smash-up "Flowers" was the only Porpora work with an autograph and was painted in about 1660, says "The Web Gallery of Art," a database of European fine art.

Porpora was born in Naples but moved to Rome, where he worked for the Chigi family.

The boy joins a short list of art fumblers.

The list includes events such as a woman at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art fell into a Picasso, causing a 15-cm tear, and a Dublin man damaging a Monet painting in Ireland estimated to be worth 10 million euros.


TRTWorld and agencies