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Taiwanese boy trips and punches hole in £1.5m Paolo Porpora painting
A Taiwanese child has become an internet sensation for all the wrong reasons after accidentally tearing a hole in a painting worth nearly £1 million.
The 12-year-old lost his footing next to the 17th century Paolo Porpora oil painting called Flowers, valued at $1.5 million (£950,000), at a Leonardo da Vinci show at Huashan 1914 Creative Park in Taipei on Sunday.
He lost his balance, stumbled over the safety rope and pressed a can of soda into the painting to steady himself in the security footage released by the exhibition organizers.
Andrea Rossi, the exhibition curator, said the boy seemed “nervous” and asked that he not be blamed for the damage. The family will not be asked to pay the restoration costs.
The rare piece, which belongs to a private collector, is insured and will be shipped back to Italy for further restoration this week, Focus Taiwan, a local news agency, confirmed.
Damaging paintings can have serious consequences as one man in Dublin learned last December, after being jailed for six years for punching a hole through an £8 million Claude Monet painting.
He was also banned from all galleries after the incident, despite claiming he collapsed due to a heart condition.
“All 55 paintings in the venue are authentic pieces and they are very rare and precious. Once these works are damaged, they are permanently damaged,” said the organizers on the exhibition on its official Facebook page.
When the incident occurred, there were around 200 to 300 visitors in the venue, within the allowed limit, said Sun Chi-hsuan, one of the organizers.