It’s not quite like knifing the Mona Lisa, is it?
A determined German cleaner destroyed a piece of art valued at £690,000 by cleaning away what she thought was an unsightly stain from the artwork.
The cleaner got to work on an installation by the late and famed artist Martin Kippenberger at a museum in Dortmund.
Entitled “When It Starts Dripping From The Ceilings” the piece comprised a tower of wooden slats with a plastic bowl at the bottom painted brown to give the impression of discolouration caused by water. The cleaner took the paint to be an actual stain and scrubbed the bowl till it looked new.
The Dortmund incident in not the first time a piece of art has fallen victim to a cleaner. In 2004 a cleaner at the Tate Modern binned part of a work by artist Gustav Metzger.
It’s not what I’d call art but I suppose one man’s meat is another’s poison and all that. Still, if I was asked to define what art isn’t I might begin by suggesting that if you need to make rules that the cleaners have to stay a certain distance away or put a label on it for them saying “This Is Art – Please Do Not Clean, It’s Supposed To look Like This” then it probably doesn’t qualify.