Stumbling Museum Visitor Smashes $12K Sculpture

Ceramic Costa Rican totem at summer exhibition shatters to floor
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 29, 2008 3:44 AM CDT
Tracy Emin stands amid the "Five Frauleins" in a gallery curated by her at The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition on June 4, 2008 in London.    (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – A 9-foot ceramic totem was smashed to smithereens after a visitor to London's Royal Academy lost her balance yesterday and tumbled into the work, the Guardian reports. The "Five Frauleins" in the work by a noted Costa Rican sculptor now number four. Museum officials are discussing the damage with their insurers.

"It was an enormous crash," said one visitor. "Everyone was standing around, and one woman, who I assumed had knocked it over, was standing with her hand on her head. People were still coming into the room and thought it was part of the exhibition. They were taking pictures." Someone eventually came in "with a dustpan to clean it up," she said.