Art: A child knocked over a $132,000 sculpture, parents may have to pay


Art: A child knocked over a $132,000 sculpture at a public art center—and the parents may have to cover the cost.

For some museumgoers, the fear of damaging an artwork can come off as a bit paranoid. Most museums and galleries have guards that block off the distance you should stand from an art work, and incorporate floor plans to minimize the chances of an accidental booty-bump. But, even if you do accidentally break an art work, most art institutions have specialized insurance to cover the cost of the damage. Only on the very, very rare occasion would you ever get footed with the bill.

“We heard a bunch of commotion and I thought, ‘Whose yelling at my son?’” Goodman said. “This glass mosaic torso is laying on the ground and someone is following me around demanding my personal information.”

Such may be the case for two Kansas parents, whose child embraced a sculpture, causing it to topple. The incident took place last week at the Tomahawk Ridge Community Center, which features a “unique, not-for-profit gallery space,” that offers artists “a showcase for their work in the heart of Overland Park.” For a recent exhibition, the gallery space––which is technically a public entity––borrowed a work by artist Bill Lyons, worth $132,000. The family was attending a wedding at the community center, and while the child’s parents chatted on a nearby couch, the five-year-old hugged the artwork to the ground, causing serious damage…

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