A 12-year-old boy in Taiwan accidentally vandalised a painting by Paolo Porpora
We’ve all been there.
You’re walking round a gallery, pretending to listen to what the tour guide is telling you about Pre-Raphaelite women but really just thinking about what postcards you’re going to buy in the gift shop when disaster strikes and you put your fist through a priceless painting.
IT HAPPENS TO THE BEST OF US.
Someone who knows the horror of this tragedy all too well is the 12-year-old boy in Taiwan who did just that this weekend and, unlucky for him, the whole thing was caught on tape.
The unnamed accidental vandal tripped over his own feet and whet fist first into a 350-year-old painting by Italian artist Paolo Porpora, valued at around $1.5 million.
Despite the video having no sound, you can almost hear the stages of grief the poor lad goes through as the scene unfolds…
1. “Let’s go to the gallery, they said. It’ll be fun, they said. I’ve never ever heard of this Porpora fella.”
2. “Ah yes, let’s move on to the next picture of fruit in a bowl. Excellent.”
3. “I wonder if mum will let me buy a…WHOOPS!”
4. “Oh. Holy. Shit.”
5. “Wait? Did that just happen? It didn’t, did it? No, that couldn’t have actually happened. Could it?”
6. “Style it out, just style it out. No-one saw did they?”
7. “Okay someone definitely saw.”
8. “Is that a hole? Have I just PUNCHED A HOLE in a painting?”
9. “Can you go to jail for this? Oh god, I bet you can. But I’m just a kid, I can’t go to art jail!”
10. “Who, me? Did I do that? Better come clean. Yes, it was me. Bestow on me what punishment you see fit but let it be known that if my mother had listened to me, I would be at Disneyland right now…And may or may not have punched Mickey Mouse in the face.”
We are all this boy. This poor, poor boy.
Thankfully, the exhibition organisers will not be asking the boy’s family to pay for repairs to the painting, which was insured. No harm, no foul?