Cleaner Scrubs Away 800 000 Euro Art

An overzealous cleaner in Dortmund has scrubbed away an integral part of a contemporary sculpture on display at the Ostwall Museum. The work of art by Martin Kippenberger, is entitled "When It Starts Dripping From the Ceiling" and features a stack of wooden slats with a rubber trough underneath. Inside the trough was a layer of dried paint, representing dried rain water. Seeing this apparent mess, the museum's cleaner decided to get to work at scrubbing away this essential patina.

The work has been on loan at the museum from a private collector, who has decided to allow the museum to keep the work of art, which was once valued at 800 000 euro.

A similar incident happened in Dusseldorf in 1986, when an apparent grease stain, part of an artwork by Joseph Beuys valued at 400 000 euro, was scrubbed away by museum cleaners.


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