Woman fills out $116k artwork resembling crossword puzzle at German museum

  • An elderly woman filled out the blank spaces of a $116,000 crossword artwork with a ballpoint pen
  • The artwork features a partially filled-in crossword puzzle and has the phrase ‘insert words’
  • She took the phrase ‘insert words’ as an invitation to complete the crossword puzzle

A 91-year-old woman got herself into trouble after she unknowingly committed vandalism at a German museum.

According to an article published by BBC, the elderly woman was visiting Nuremberg’s Neues Museum with a group of senior citizens and she accidentally filled out the blank spaces of a $116,000 crossword artwork with a ballpoint pen.

“Reading-work-piece” is a 1965 piece by avant-garde Danish artist Arthur Koepcke which was on loan to the museum from a private collector. The artwork features a partially filled-in crossword puzzle and has the phrase “insert words”.

The woman was investigated for damage to property and she reportedly told the police that she took the phrase ‘insert words’ as an invitation to fill in answers to the clues and complete the crossword puzzle.

Gerlinde Knopp, who was leading the excursion of the senior citizens, said that the museum was full of interactive art, making it easy to lose sight of what could and could not be done there.

Th elderly woman in question might have grown confused because of the interactivity of many of the museum’s artworks.

The museum believed that the damage to the artwork could be easily repaired and they are certain that the old woman meant no harm and would not hold her liable for any damages. They clarified that they only made the criminal complaint for insurance reasons.

Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted museum director Eva Krause as telling the Telegraph: “We will let the lady know that the collector took the damage to the work in good humor, so she doesn’t have a sleepless night.”

 

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