Kid Trips Into $1.5M Painting

The only Paolo Porpora artwork that's signed now has a fist-size hole in it
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 25, 2015 10:32 AM CDT

(Newser) – Elsewhere in the world, terrorists threaten art and antiquities, but in Taiwan tween boys holding beverages are the threat. A 12-year-old taking a guided tour with his mom at an art exhibit in Taipei lived out what was probably his (and his mother's) worst nightmare when he tripped next to a painting worth about $1.5 million, putting his fist right through it as he tried to break his fall, Focus Taiwan reports. He left a large gash in the bottom right of Paolo Porpora's Flowers, an oil on canvas said to be about 350 years old, the Guardian notes. There were between 200 and 300 visitors at the exhibit when the mishap occurred, per Focus Taiwan.

Video footage from the exhibit at Huashan 1914 Creative Park shows the boy strolling past the ropes that separate the painting from the public, drink in right hand—until he loses his balance and falls over the ropes and into the painting. He appears stunned, looking for reaction from other spectators until he walks away with a woman who appears to be a museum worker. The exhibit organizer, however, isn't going to make the boy's family pay for the damages—the painting, the only one signed by Porpora, is insured, the Guardian notes. A post on the exhibit's Facebook page reads, per the paper: "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." Another Facebook post, however, thanks a restorer for fixing the painting up as best as he could. "The restoration of the painting … was possible because of the high skills and talent of Mr. Leo Tsai," it read. (Read more kids stories.)

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