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Humanity cannot take good care of its heritage; in the history of fine arts, there are many cases when the works of creators have noticeably suffered due to inattention to them. Let's talk about the most significant losses and damage in the art world.
Sculpture of Venus de Milo. Today this sculpture is kept in the Louvre. Mankind discovered Venus in 1820 when it was found on the island of Milos. French sailors quickly realized the cultural value of the find, but during its transportation a fight broke out and both hands broke off. The tired sailors refused to return and look for the breakaway units. As a result, the sculpture's right arm broke off at chest level, and the left one - at the very shoulder. There is still debate about what was in the hands of Venus. Many are inclined to think that there was an apple in her left hand. But even in this form, Venus de Milo remains a cultural heritage of mankind.
Sketch for "Surrounded Islands", Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Bulgarian Christo and his wife Jeanne-Claude, who is a co-author, became famous for their installation, during which 11 artificial islands near Miami were surrounded by pink polypropylene. The project was being prepared for three years, during which many collages, drawings and preliminary drawings were made. However, during preparation, one of the sketches suffered - during transportation, a forklift truck drove through the work. The damaged work is now stored in London, in the office of the Axa Art insurance company. The sketch is not for sale, as Christo himself prefers not to sell his damaged work.
Painting "Dream" by Pablo Picasso. The painting has long been owned by the owner of one of the Las Vegas casinos, Steve Wynn, who owns a significant collection of works of art. And in 2006, he agreed to sell The Dream for $ 139 million. However, the billionaire, when showing the canvas to the guests, actively gestured, accidentally stumbled and broke a hole in the picture with his elbow. The incident was explained by the fact that Wynn had vision impairment, and he could not accurately calculate the distance to objects. As a result, Winn refused to sell the canvas, and after the restoration was completed, he decided to keep the Picasso masterpiece with him. The billionaire decided that what happened was a sign of fate. So "Dream" did not become the most expensive painting in history, remaining in the office of its old master.
Qing era Chinese vases. In 2006, one of the visitors to the Cambridge Fitzwilliam Museum in England untied a lace, a man stepped on it and rolled down the stairs. But the unfortunate man carried away with him three 300-year-old vases of the Qing era. But it was Chinese porcelain of the 17th century that was the main attraction of the museum! For two and a half days, the museum staff collected vases that were scattered to smithereens, the largest of which weighed 45 kg. The restoration of exquisite masterpieces lasted six months. The man who broke the vases was naturally detained, but it was quickly found out that there was no malice in his actions. As a result, he was released, and the vases are still on display at the Fitzwilliam Museum.
Recreation of the first public declaration of self-destructive art, Gustav Metzger. This term was introduced into the everyday life of artists by Gustav Metzger. In 1960, he presented to the public a transparent plastic bag filled with rubbish, and declared that this was a symbol of the finiteness of art. The package was part of the installation, which also included an acid-eaten nylon painting. The author, with his work, expressed his view of works of art in the finished stage and what awaits them afterwards. Metzger's work was recreated in 2004 for display in a London gallery. However, the history of art turned out to be unfamiliar to one of the cleaners, who simply took and threw the bag away. The art object was quickly removed from the container, but the author stated that the trash was so damaged that a copy was required. And Metzger quickly provided the museum with a similar piece. The gallery itself explained the incident by the fact that there was no special fence around the artwork with garbage, like other exhibits.
Sculpture "Home" by Rachel Whiteread. In the fall of 1993, a giant Victorian-style sculpture was created by British artist Rachel Whiteread. She received a short and capacious name "House". Once, in the 19th century, there were many such buildings in London's East End, but after the war, almost all of them were demolished. The sculpture was a concrete cast of just such a house. Whiteread's work was appreciated and the author received the prestigious Turner Prize. However, the local residents themselves did not like this sculpture very much, and during the redevelopment of the street, the building was simply demolished.
Painting-By-Numbers Exhibition, Damien Hirst. In 2001, Hirst decided to design his exhibition in an original way. To this end, empty beer bottles, paint cans and overflowing ashtrays were scattered throughout the gallery spaces. They all imitated the creative mess in the workshop. However, this creative was not appreciated by the cleaners, who removed all the trash. As a result, the gallery had to be "decorated" again, but this did not upset the artist, who considered the incident a ridiculous misunderstanding.
Painting "Pulp Fiction", Banksy. Street artists can make good money, for example, one of the works of the master, nicknamed Banksy, was recently sold at Sotheby's for the amount of 102 thousand pounds. But the most famous work of the artist was the huge painting "Pulp Fiction", located in London's East End on the wall of a power plant. The painting depicted the characters from the movie Quentin Tarantino, played by John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson. Men aim at their enemies, but they are not holding pistols, but "Warhol" bananas. This work of art has become one of the most famous creations of the artist, it was very popular with both tourists and residents of London. However, the authorities in the capital considered the work to be vandalism and ordered the workers to paint over it, despite the fact that it was estimated at 500 thousand dollars. The fresco existed for about 5 years, and its destruction led to a sharp rise in prices for the artist's works.
Relief by Craig Kaufman. In 2006, the exhibition "Los Angeles 1955-1985: The Birth of the Capital of the Art World" was held at the Paris Center Pompidou. For the exhibition, the works were presented by leading American collectors and art dealers. They naturally hoped that their work would return home safe and sound. However, a bas-relief by Craig Kaufman collapsed from the wall. Surprisingly, the work has survived as many as three earthquakes in Los Angeles before. And the works of art began to crumble even before the opening of the exhibition - a black bar measuring 2.44 m by 12.7 cm fell from the wall, a work of the minimalist Peter Alexander.
Painting "Actor", Pablo Picasso. In January 2010, the New York Times reported damage to this painting on display at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. The incident took place on January 22, when one of the visitors to the additional education group suddenly lost consciousness and fell into the picture. As a result, a 15 centimeters long tear formed on the canvas. The injured painting was immediately taken to the office, where experts assessed the amount of damage caused. Museum staff claim that the central part of the composition was not damaged and the restoration will be simple and short-lived.
Bas-relief depicting St. Michael the Archangel, Andrea della Robier. In the same museum on July 2, 2008, another incident occurred, this time a medieval bas-relief was damaged, depicting St. Michael the Archangel in full ammunition. A terracotta bas-relief dating from 1475 was located under the ceiling of the museum. Andrea de la Robier created his masterpiece for a Catholic church in Faenza, Italy. Until 1960, the bas-relief was in a private collection, but then the museum acquired it to decorate the hall of European culture. Since 1996, Saint Michael has been hoisted to the ceiling just above the aisle. Fortunately, no one was injured during the fall of the sculpture, the incident happened even before the opening of the composition.
Painting "Allegory of Lies", Salvator Rosa. In the famous Florentine Uffizi gallery in June 2007, an unpleasant event happened - one of the tourists accidentally damaged a 17th century painting. The exhibition "Philosophical Love" was held here, and Rose's injured painting "Allegory of Lies" was just one of the pearls of the composition. The visitor climbed the rung of the stairs to get a better look at the masterpiece, but lost her balance and was forced to cling to the picture, thereby tearing it. The culprit was quickly identified using CCTV cameras, but the damage was not great, and a few hours after the incident, the picture took its place again.
Statue of Adam, Tullio Lombardo. This work was created around 1490-1495 and decorated the tomb of the Venetian doge Andrea Vendramin. The height of Adam made of marble is 85 cm, with his hand he rests on a tree entwined with a vine. A snake is twisted around the plant, while Adam's other hand was squeezing an apple. At one time, Eve was also part of the composition. This statue is considered the first monumental depiction of a nude male body during the Renaissance, and it was located in the New York Metropolitan Museum. But then, in October 2002, the 10-centimeter plywood pedestal, on which the statue was located, suddenly deformed and it fell. Adam shattered into dozens of debris, only by a happy coincidence his head and torso remained intact.
Fresco "The Last Supper" by Leonardo da Vinci. The great artist painted his work in the 15th century on wet plaster, then a mixture of egg yolks and vinegar was used to dilute the paint. Within a few years, the fresco began to crumble, and just half a century later it was already considered damaged. The painting was hung in the 18th century with drapery, which, as it turned out, accumulated moisture in itself. When removing the fabric, it also scratched the canvas. The most recent attempt to restore the famous fresco took a long 21 years.
Pieta "Lamentation of Christ", Michelangelo. This is the only work signed by the master; figures of Christ and Mary mourning him were carved from marble. The pieta was supposed to decorate the tomb of Cardinal Bilaire, but in the 18th century it was taken to the Vatican to decorate one of the basilicas of St. Peter's Church. Already during transportation, the fingers of Madonna's left hand were damaged, and in 1972 the statue was attacked by a Hungarian geologist shouting about his divine origin. After restoration, the statue was placed under bulletproof glass.
Painting "Mona Lisa" by Leonardo da Vinci. This painting is perhaps the most famous in the world. It is not surprising that everyone's attention is riveted to her, including vandals. The portrait of Madame Gioconda was painted around 1503-1505 and is now kept in the Louvre. In 1956, one of the visitors doused the masterpiece with acid, damaging the lower part. In the same year, the Bolivian Villegas threw a stone into the painting and damaged a layer of paint near the woman's elbow. This forced the administration of the museum to protect the creation with bulletproof glass, but this did not stop the vandals. In 1974, one woman, as a sign of the struggle for the rights of disabled people, tried to pour red paint on the canvas, "Mona Lisa" was at that time at an exhibition in Tokyo. And in April 2009, a Russian woman threw a cup into the glass, only slightly damaging it.
Statue of Pope Julius II by Michelangelo. The whole history of the relationship between the Pope and the great creator is saturated with outbursts of anger, conflicts and disagreements. As a result, Michelangelo created a bronze statue of the high priest, which was put in Bologna, on the facade of the church. However, soon the locals, under the leadership of their duke, rebelled against the papal power, the bronze statue was thrown down and broken. The zealous Duke Alfonso d'Este, a big fan of artillery, melted the remains of the masterpiece into a cannon, calling it "Julia". Today, not even a copy of this statue has survived, it is only known that the Pope blessed with his right hand, and held a sword in his left.