“A CLEANER at a German museum who mistook a sculpture for an unsightly mess has destroyed the valuable artwork beyond recognition, a spokeswoman for the western city of Dortmund said today”, writes the Herald Sun.
“The cleaner at the city’s Ostwall Museum went to work on the Martin Kippenberger installation entitled When It Starts Dripping From the Ceiling, which was valued by insurers at $US1.1 million, she said.
The late contemporary master had created a tower of wooden slats under which a rubber trough was placed with a thin beige layer of paint representing dried rain water.
Taking it for an actual stain, the cleaner scrubbed the surface until it gleamed.”
How To Distinguish Art from Trash – Interview with David Bartley, Senior Registrar at the Walker Art Center.
In the storage facilities of the Walker Art Center the process is facilitated by labeling the art as such: “Do Not Open! Box Is Art.”
One presumes that the trash is not labeled.
In The Art Newspaper: Anger over Louvre’s plan to clean a Leonardo
“The Louvre’s latest attempt to conserve a masterpiece by the artist, The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne, 1508, has yet again sparked a wave of debate about cleaning paintings, even if they are dirty and discoloured.”