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Woman accidentally knocks and smashes sculpture worth £35,000

Woman accidentally knocks and smashes sculpture worth £35,000

Jeff Koons' balloon dog sculpture was popped at an art fair in the US

A woman at an art fair knocked over and smashed a sculpture worth £35,000.

In the art world - much like the wider world - 'look but don't touch' is a useful rule of thumb. However, witnesses said the woman tapped the sculpture with her finger... and it ended in disaster. Watch here:

The sculpture in question was one of Jeff Koons' famous 'balloon dogs' and it was on show on Thursday (16 February) at the VIP-only opening night of Art Wynwood, a contemporary art fair held annually in Miami, Florida.

Local artist Stephen Gamson told the Miami Herald that he saw an elderly woman tap the sculpture on display at Bel-Air Fine Art's booth and it fell from its perch, loudly smashing to bits.

Guests quickly flocked to the area, with many wondering whether this was an intentional act as part of some kind of performance art.

However, it soon became apparent that this was not supposed to happen.

It was smashed to bits.
Stephen Gamson

Gamson said: "It was really the star of this booth.

"When this thing fell to the ground, it was like how a car accident draws a huge crowd on the highway."

But while this was undoubtedly a mortifying moment for the woman who tapped the sculpture, it thankfully won't financially cripple her.

The artwork is covered by insurance, so she won't fall foul of any kind of 'if you break it, you buy it' policy.

Bénédicte Caluch, an art advisor with Bel-Air Fine Art, said: "It was an event! Everybody came to see what happened.

"It was like when Banksy's artwork was shredded."

In fact, with this being the art world, the sculpture may not have lost all of its value either.

Koons' balloons come in all different sizes.
Gerry Matthews / Alamy Stock Photo

If you were to smash up a car, say, you could expect its value to drop off a cliff - but the rules aren't necessarily quite the same if you smash a sculpture.

Gamson immediately offered to buy the broken pieces of the sculpture on the spot.

"I said, 'For $15 million? Yea!'" Caluch joked.

Explaining why he wanted a piece of the broken art, Gamson said: "I find value in it even when it's broken.

"To me, it's the story. It makes the art even more interesting."

Featured Image Credit: Robert Landau / Alamy Stock Photo/ @tbifford/Twitter

Topics: US News, Art