Entitled “When It Starts Dripping From The Ceilings” the piece comprised a tower of wooden slats with a plastic bowl at the bottom painted brown to give the impression of discolouration caused by water. The cleaner took the paint to be an actual stain and scrubbed the bowl till it looked new.
The piece of art (shown above) by Martin Klippenberger was valued by the museum at £690,000.
There may be some who would argue that the cleaning person didn't destroy a piece of art, but rather created a new art work (which might be entitled "It Has Stopped Dripping From the Ceilings.")
Relevant video: "How To Distinguish Art from Trash."
Link. Photo: EPA.
It seems to me like sensationalism to get attention for a particular institution or artist, or someone taking a jab at the inscrutable world of modern art.
It's designed to provoke typical responses like: "my kid coulda made that", with the usual "are you an art critic" reply, that just shows the flaws in both sides of the issue: first the unwillingness to accept new things, second the ivory tower snobbishness that nobody but art experts can truly understand art.
And that's why I think it's been staged.
Just because you don't know much about art and don't like this piece, does not mean its crap. Well, perhaps in your eyes its crap, but obviously not in the eyes of people who do understand art, and value it at £690,000.