Category Archives: Hilarious Art News

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The Dürer Mystery: New Revelations on Amazon-Be Afraid

The Dürer Mystery: New Revelations Paperback – September 9, 2015


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Charges are pending against a 29-year-old man who allegedly stabbed another man in the neck outside the Art Institute of Chicago on the evening of June 10.

The stabbing occurred in the Art Institute’s south garden, which houses several large sculptures including Alexander Calder’s Flying Dragon.

Both men are homeless, according to  and the 57-year-old victim remains in critical condition.

Officials at the museum were able to provide a detailed description of the assailant, who was apprehended after fleeing the scene. He currently faces charges of either aggravated battery or attempted murder.

“I’m surprised that something like this would happen outside the art museum, especially on a day like today with so many people out,” said a local resident.

The Art Institute of Chicago's south garden.

Strangely, this isn’t the first time this year that violence has broken out in close proximity to a museum.

The Art Institute of Chicago was recently named the world’s favorite museum by TripAdvisor, an accolade we hope won’t be diminished by this act of violence.


IDIOTS! Italian Student Smashes Sculpture While Taking Selfie

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A 19th-century copy of the ancient Greek statue the Drunken Satyr has been the victim of a vicious selfie attack.

It may have seemed like the perfect photo-op, but things quickly went south when an Italian student looking to impress friends on Instagram broke an early 19th-century statue by hopping in its lap to snap some selfies.

Titled The Drunken Satyr, the work is a copy of an ancient Greek sculpture housed in a museum hallway, outside a room with more valuable Greek originals which were fortunate to avoid falling victim to the student’s misguided photographic urges. His supreme lack of common sense was caught on video by security cameras at Milan’s Academy of Fine Arts of Brera, but it is unclear if the student got his desired shot before shattering the statue’s leg.

Priceless Bernini Fountain Damaged By Dutch Drunk Soccer Fans

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Employees at the Dutch company Royal Woudenberg have offered their services in repairing a 400-year-old Pietro Bernini fountain damaged by a group of drunken Dutch soccer fans last week, Reuters reports.

During a Europa League match between the Rotterdam team of Feyenoord and the Italian team AS Roma , fans not only trashed the La Barcaccia fountain and surrounding area, which is at the foot of the Spanish Steps, but also caused permanent damage to the structure, which is now chipped and splintered. The city is still investigating the full extent of the damages, and residents have laid flowers on the boat-shaped fountain. Italian police arrested 29 vandals.

Royal Woudenberg, which is owned by parent company Janssen de Jong and is credited with renovating Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, is prepared to spend up to €50,000 ($56,795) on the repairs, and will seek outside help should the cost exceed that number. The Dutch government has said it will support individual initiatives to make good the damage.

The employees reportedly came up with the idea while discussing the damage to the fountain during their lunch break on Tuesday. They extended the offer via a letter to the Italian ambassador stationed in the Netherlands.

“We found what happened really shocking and wanted to make a gesture to the Italians,” said Lily Derksen, a spokesperson for Janssen de Jong. “We simply said we would be happy to repair the fountain.”

Dutch Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten also announced on Tuesday that Dutch authorities are sending a team to Rome to aid Italian police.

Clumsy Tourist Trips and Smashes 4,000-Year-Old Greek Vase

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A Minoan vase similar to the one smashed

A hapless museum-goer was taking in the ancient exhibits at the Heraklion Archaeological Museum on the Greek island of Crete, when she suddenly tripped and fell. In doing so she, grabbed onto a 4,000 year-old Minoan vase to break her fall and shamefully smashed the prehistoric artifact, the Daily Mail reports. (See Cy Twombly Sculpture Accidentally Smashed at Menil Collection).

The Greek Culture Ministry said the culprit suffered minor injuries to her legs, while the vase on the other hand, was completely destroyed. Restorers at the institution are optimistic, however. After assessing the damage and sending it to be repaired, they have declared that the vase could be back on display soon.

The same vase was discovered by archaeologists bearing traces of an ancient restoration, suggesting that it was damaged by some clumsy Cretan 4,000 years ago.

The Minoan people inhabited Crete from 2000 to 1500 BCE. The civilization left behind several settlements, tombs, and cemeteries, now much visited ruins. Most artifacts discovered on the island have ended up in the Heraklion museum.

Whilst museums do their best to keep artifacts safe, it seems they can’t always stop human nature, as there have been numerous recent examples of visitors and staff inadvertently damaging artworks.


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Statue of the two Hercules

The scourge of the selfie has struck again: a pair of tourists accidentally broke an Italian sculpture while taking a photo with it, knocking off a portion of the statue’s crown, which shattered on the ground.

The incident took place in the northern Italian city of Cremona, and involved Statue of the Two Hercules (circa 1700), a marble statue of the city’s coat of arms held by two figures of Hercules. The sculpture is considered a symbol of the city, as the demigod is said to have founded Cremona. The piece was originally displayed above the city gates (demolished in 1910), but since 1962 has been located under the portico of Loggie dei Militi, a historic 1292 building that formerly housed city militia.

The never-ending quest for the perfect selfie is, as we know, not without consequences, or embarrassment. In Cremona, the two perpetrators have reportedly been identified by the police, though it is not clear if authorities intend to press charges.

Experts are reportedly being brought in today to access the damage and determine whether or not the piece can be repaired.

Master Forger Wolfgang Beltracchi Saw His Painting in Albertina Museum


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Wolfgang Beltracchi with his lawyer

The notorious German art forger, Wolfgang Beltracchi has claimed on a German talk show that he “recently” saw one of his paintings hanging in Vienna’s Albertina Museum. Beltracchi made the claim on the ZDF show Markus Lanz.

He was recently released on probation after serving three years of a six-year prison sentence for creating 14 fake artworks purported to have been painted by the likes of Max Ernst and Heinrich Campendonk.

Last year Beltracchi made a similar claim on the Austrian TV show Talk im Hangar-7, suggesting that one of his fakes may be among the Albertina’s collection, without divulging which work it was. At the time it was speculated that the fake may have been Max Pechstein’s paintingLying Female Act with Cat (1909), from the collection of expressionist expert Hermann Gerlinger. The painting was part of a 2007 exhibition at the museum.

Salzburger Nachrichten reported that in response to Beltracchi’s latest claim, the director of the Albertina Museum, Klaus Albrecht Schröder, told the Austrian radio station ORF-Radio Ö3 that he intends to get in touch with the forger to ascertain whether he was talking about the painting featured in the 2007 exhibition or a different artwork.

“I will make contact and ask if it is the painting from the Gerlinger collection or a different artwork,” he said. “Of course we want to know. I said at the beginning that the prosecution made a grave mistake not to use the case to discover all of the fakes.”


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Giacommeti’s Walking Man

A court case has been brought against a German ring who stand accused of knowingly attempting to put a forged Alberto Giacometti’s sculpture on the market.

A 67-year-old assessor named Wolf G., and a 60-year-old art dealer named Hans K., have been accused of fraud and falsification of documents. Wolf. G’s ex-wife Ulrike G., a 63-year-old lawyer and her 92-year-old mother have been accused as accomplices.

According to court documents Wolf. G acquired a fake Giacometti sculpture in 2008 in a barter deal with a man identified as Lothar Se., who was a member of criminal gang surrounding the Dutch Giacometti forger Robert Driessen.

Driessen and his gang are estimated to have made €8 million ($8.9 million) selling forgeries until they were apprehended in 2011. Police discovered over 1,000 bronze Giacometti forgeries in the gang’s warehouse. The authorities melted down the sculptures, but as the current court case shows, many are still on the market.

In March 2009 Wolf G. unsuccessfully attempted to consign the fakeWalking Man sculpture to a Swiss auction house, asking CHF 5 million ($5.3 million) for it. A Giacometti expert identified the sculpture as a copy and it was sent back.

Wolf G. and art dealer Hans. K subsequently attempted to sell the sculpture to a private collector for €350,000 ($390,000), but the deal collapsed after the collector was unable to secure a loan.

Several months later the forgery was offered to Sotheby’s, Frankfurt where it was rejected once again.

Following a third unsuccessful sale attempt, Lothar Se. took back the forgery and was arrested after trying to sell the work to an undercover detective for €1.5 million ($1.6 million). The subsequent investigation led detectives to Wolf G., Hans K. and Ulrike G.

The case is already being compared to the German master art forger Wolfgang Beltracchi, who was released from prison in January. albrecht sex giacommeti walking man germans art frauds rbi