In a classic case of "Oops," a journalist, working for Swiss state broadcaster RSI, accidentally knocked over a priceless glasswork at an art show in Lugano, Switzerland recently. Neither the gallery, nor his employer, are taking any responsibility.
The Local compares the incident to Bean: The Ultimate Disaster Movie, in which Rowan Atkinson’s clumsy character works for an art gallery, with predictable consequences.
The journalist, who works for the Swiss media, moved out of the way of other guests at the event, and managed to knock over the priceless piece of art by Italian artist Luciano Fabro.
The piece was from the private collection of Giancarlo and Danna Olgiati, and was quite literally smashed to smithereens.
On display at the Meno Uno gallery in Lugano, the piece was a glass disc, dated 1962-64, which is known as an impronta (imprint). It was an important piece of Fabro's work, which is regarded as one of the most renowned examples of the Italian "Arte Povera" movement (which literally translates as "poor art").
"Arte Povera" takes common and every day substances and combines them into amazing artworks.
The artwork had a diameter of 64.5 centimeters, and featured an imprint of the Earth in its center.
Apparently the piece was supported on a metal base (as per the instructions of the artist) and was fixed to the ground on four points. A security guard was in charge of guarding the artwork, according to the city, which is refusing to accept responsibility for the incident.
According to RSI, it was "no consolation that the insurer was present for the inauguration of the collection."
Apparently a representative of the broadcaster said that the journalist was attending the event in a private capacity, and not on their behalf, so they accept no responsibility for the destruction of the masterpiece.
British newspapers are reporting that the journalist was “tanked up on free cocktails,” However, the Swiss media did not relay this information, and this fact could not be verified.
The UK tabloid the Mirror shows a photo of the smashed piece of art.
Exibart (in Italian) said the problem appeared to be the audience at the art show. They said it was either too large, or people were too attentive to matters other than art, as often happens.
Whatever the circumstances, few people would like to be in his shoes!
For anyone wishing to know more about "Arte Povera" the video below (in Italian) shows more about the art style.