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Parents Get $132K Claim After Kid's Touch Ruins Sculpture

5-year-old sent 'Aphrodite di Kansas City' crashing to the ground
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2018 5:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – Wrangling 5-year-olds can be challenging. Failing to do so can apparently be expensive. Or so learned a Kansas couple, who say they may be on the hook for a $132,000 sculpture their young son knocked over. ABC News reports that while at the Tomahawk Ridge Community Center in Overland Park for a May 19 wedding reception, the 5-year-old was caught reaching toward the sculpture by surveillance cameras; "Aphrodite di Kansas City" toppled over and fell. Then the other shoe dropped, in the form of an insurance claim for $132,000—the piece's list price—from the company that insures the city. Sculptor Bill Lyons says he spent roughly 2 years creating the glass piece and that his inspection of it revealed damage to the head and arms. It is "beyond my capabilities and desires to rebuild it," Lyons says.

"You’re responsible for the supervision of a minor child ... your failure to monitor could be considered negligent," the letter from the insurance company read in part. Mom Sarah Goodman counters that the whole scenario was dangerous, and not because of her child. "He didn’t maliciously break that. It fell on him. It was not secure, it was not safe—at all." As for what he was doing, she tells the Kansas City Star "he probably hugged it ... because he’s a loving, sweet nice boy who just graduated from preschool." Overland Park says the piece was on loan and it was obligated to file an insurance claim, and the insurance company was subsequently obligated to contact the family. They say they're hopeful their homeowner's insurance policy will cover the situation, reports KSHB. (This woman says she didn't ruin an $89,000 artwork but rather increased its value.)

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