"A cleaning woman at a German museum who mistook a sculpture for an unsightly mess has destroyed the valuable artwork beyond recognition, a spokeswoman for the western city of Dortmund said Thursday.
The cleaner at the city's Ostwall Museum went to work on the Martin Kippenberger installation entitled "When It Starts Dripping From the Ceiling" which was valued by insurers at 800,000 euros ($1.1 million), she said.
The late contemporary master had created a tower of wooden slats under which a rubber trough was placed with a thin beige layer of paint representing dried rain water.
Taking it for an actual stain, the cleaner scrubbed the surface until it gleamed.
"It is now impossible to return it to its original state," the spokeswoman said, adding that the damage had been discovered late last month and that the work had been on loan to the museum from a private collector.
She said that cleaning crews had orders to remain 20 centimetres (eight inches) away from artworks but it was unclear if the woman had received the directive from the external company that employed her.
Works of art not infrequently fall victim to zealous cleaners. In 1986, a "grease stain" by Joseph Beuys valued at around 400,000 euros was mopped away at the Academy of Fine Arts in Duesseldorf, western Germany."
My favorite comments from the readers:
"Methinks the cleaning lady had a better sense of value than the insurers did."
"Look, if a cleaning woman thought it was a mess, it was a mess. Basically, the emperor has no clothes. This woman knew it was crap, and not art."
"I have some artwork under my kitchen sink they can have..."
"Thats what cleaning ladys do, she sounds like a good one , I would hire her."
"Humorist Art Buchwald wrote a great column years ago, about stopping at an art show opening on his way back from the grocery store. He set his bag of groceries on the floor just inside the door, and after viewing the exhibit, returned to find a 1st place ribbon on his groceries. The organizers would not accept his protestations that they were only groceries, not an entry. So, he went home and told his wife, and together they realized this could be the start of a profitable new career. At the next opening, he returned with another bag of groceries, but --alas-- was panned by the critics as repetitive and lazy...."success has gone to his head.""
"That's what happens when art looks like shit."
"This just goes to show you the truth about alot of modern art.
I once saw an exhibit called "10,000" pennies.. It was ,, you guessed it, a pile of ten thousand pennies on the floor...
SOOOO,, i took out a penny from my pocket and tossed it on the pile and re-christened it "10,001 pennies"
Unfortunately, i was never given credit for my "genius""
Source: Yahoo News