A twelve-year-old boy on a class trip to one of the most prestigious art museums in Taiwan got much more than he bargained for when he accidentally used a prominent painting to break his fall.
The boy, whose name has not been released, was partaking of the “Faces of Leonardo: Images of a Genius” exhibit at the Huashan Creative Park in Taipei. A docent had steered the class over to a large canvas by Paolo Porpora entitled “Flowers.” Then, when it was time to move on, the class began shuffling away, like you do.
Except, this happened:
According to The Guardian, “Flowers” is worth approximately one million British pounds, or about $1.5 million ($1,500,000) American dollars. However, there is currently a fist- and soda can-sized gash in the bottom right of the canvas, which will affect both its monetary value and aesthetic worth.
“All 55 paintings in the venue are authentic pieces and they are very rare and precious,” the exhibit’s Facebook page noted. However, according to the exhibit’s organizers, neither the boy–who at least has the good sense to be mortified by his actions–nor his parents will be stuck with the bill of restoring the painting. Sun Chi-hsuan, who headed the “Faces of Leonardo” organization, noted that the painting is insured, and that restoration efforts will focus on strengthening the canvas, which is very old.
Porpora finished “Flowers” in about 1660.