Boy (12) trips and punches a hole through multi-million rand painting at museum

By Samantha Luiz
25 August 2015

A 12-year-old boy from Taiwan accidentally damaged a 350-year-old Italian oil painting after he tripped and punched a hole into the work of art valued at £1 million.

It's every parent's worst nightmare come true.

A 12-year-old boy from Taiwan accidentally damaged a 350-year-old Italian oil painting after he tripped and punched a hole into the work of art valued at £1 million (R20,6 million). The nail-biting moment was captured on video.

In the footage released by the organisers of the Face of Leonardo: Images of a Genius exhibition in Taipei, a boy holding a drink is seen walking past the painting before catching his foot and stumbling over.

'Once these works are damaged, they are permanently damaged'

The camera then captures his reaction as he looks up at the oil painting, shown later to have a fist-sized hole at the bottom, and freezes, looking around at other people in the room.

Fortunately, the valuable painting was insured and the boy's family won't be made to pay for the cost of restoration.

“All 55 paintings in the venue are authentic pieces and they are very rare and precious,” a post on the exhibition’s Facebook page said.

“Once these works are damaged, they are permanently damaged.”

Entitled "Flowers" by artist Paolo Porpora, the painting dates back to the 1600s and is part of a collection of 55 artworks on show in the country's capital.

Incredibly, the boy is not the only one to have caused damage to a valuable work of art. In 2006 a man tripped over his shoelace in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, smashing three 300-year-old Chinese vases. In 2010 a woman at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art fell into a Picasso, causing a 15cm tear.

Sources: theguardian.com, metro.co.uk

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