Boy, 12, sticks gum on £850,000 painting

Posted on May 28, 2006 

Boy, 12, sticks gum on £850,000 painting

A 12-year-old boy on a school trip to a US museum stuck a piece of chewing gum to a valuable painting.

The boy damaged Helen Frankenthaler’s The Bay, one of the Detroit Institute of Arts’ most important modern paintings.

The picture, acquired by the DIA in 1965 and worth an estimated £850,000, is expected to make a full recovery, reports the Detroit Free Press.

Julie Kildee, director of the Holly Academy, where the boy is a pupil, said he had been suspended and that his parents had also taken disciplinary action.

“Even though we give very strict guidelines on proper behaviour and we hold students to high standards, he is only 12 and I don’t think he understood the ramifications of what he did before it happened, but he certainly understands the severity of it now,” said Kildee.

Becky Hart, assistant curator of contemporary art, said experts were researching the exact chemicals in the gum to determine which solvent should be used to clean the painting.

“I’m always thankful that it was not worse,” Hart said. “In the scheme of things, this is upsetting, and it will make us review our policies. But we’re confident that the painting will be OK.”

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from Ananova

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