An Austrian tourist is in hot water with museum officials in Italy after accidentally breaking the toes off of a 200-year-old statue while posing for a photo.
The incident occurred on July 31 at the Gipsoteca Museum in Possagno when he sat on Antonio Canova’s statue of Paolina Bonaparte, causing two toes to break off of the plaster sculpture, the art gallery said in a statement.
According to the museum, the tourist quickly moved away from the exhibit without telling anyone, and staffers were only alerted of the damage after an alarm in the room went off.
The tourist was tracked down by police using personal information the guest had left with the museum for contact tracing in the event that a coronavirus outbreak is tied to the gallery, CNN reported.
Police told the outlet that the man was with eight other Austrian tourists and broke away from the group to take a picture of himself “sprawled over the statue.” Security camera footage also captured the tourist jumping onto the base of the sculpture to get the selfie when he snapped off part of the artwork.
The 59th edition of the Venice Biennale, formerly scheduled for 2021, has been postponed to the following year. The international art show’s next iteration will now run for seven months, from April 23 to November 27, 2022, overlapping with the 15th edition of the contemporary art quinquennial Documenta in Kassel, Germany.
Cecilia Alemani, chief curator of New York City’s High Line, was tapped to curate the 59th Biennale. Among the confirmed names for the show so far are the multimedia artist Stan Douglas for the Canadian Pavilion; Latifa Echakhch for the Swiss Pavilion; and Zineb Sedira, the first artist of Algerian descent to represent France at the biennial.
The Los Angeles Times reported that a local charitable organization, the W.M. Keck Foundation, offered a $50 million pledge to the project this week, bringing the total commitments to $640 million out of the needed $750 million.
Greg Goldin, a Los Angeles-based critic and architectural historian, heads up the Citizens’ Brigade to Save LACMA. In a conversation with AN, he said the group was dismayed by the Keck Foundation’s choice to donate to the LACMA building fund. Goldin thinks it’s possible that the philanthropy organization doesn’t know what it’s actually paying for. “We don’t know what the board of trustees at the Keck Foundation has seen versus what the public has seen in terms of visuals or building plans,” he said. “If they haven’t seen something other than the absurd renderings released to the world, then they’ve voted on this decision in complete darkness. They’re giving $50 million to what?”
Cattelan himself has offered no direction on how to interpret the work, but MrPerrotin previously told CNN the bananas are “a symbol of global trade, a double entendre, as well as a classic device for humour”.
The installation has fast become one of the most talked-about works at this year’s Art Basel, with several viewers lining up to take selfies with the piece. One passerby was heard declaring the work “the best of the show”. However some art fans were less than impressed, with one, Weezie Chandler, telling local media: “You can do anything and once you’re established you can get away with it.”
The gallery said Cattelan spent a year working on the piece and had originally envisioned a sculpture shaped like a banana.
“Every time he travelled, he brought a banana with him and hung it in his hotel room to find inspiration. He made several models: first in resin, then in bronze and in painted bronze,” the gallery said in a statement.
Ultimately, the gallery said, Cattelan decided a real banana was the perfect fit.