Taipei Teen Clobbers Canvas

TAIPEI -- A rather unfortunate accident occurred when a 12-year-old boy visited Taipei's Huashan 1914 Creative Park this past Sunday.

The boy tripped and inadvertently punched a hole in a Paolo Porpora painting valued at $1.5 million, or £950,000 as he was trying to keep his balance.

Art collectors of Art Kabinett social media network are always concerned when children have close proximity to important artworks.

The boy was with a guided tour group visiting the exhibition "The Face of Leonardo, Images of a Genius," which gathers 55 paintings by key artists starting from the Italian Renaissance and going up to the 20th century - Focus Taiwan reports.

The alarming series of events was captured by closed circuit TV and the footage first shows the teenager, who is carrying a soft drink, while admiring the Baroque masterpiece -- possibly not the best of combinations -- then, the group moves towards the next painting in the display, the boy looks back to something or someone off camera, he then loses his balance as he bumps against the stanchion meant to protect the painting and hits the work of art as he falls, smashing his cup against it.

The stunned child is aware of the damage and appears visibly shocked as an adult seeks out a museum official to assess the damage.

The impact resulted in a fist-sized hole in Porpora's Flowers. However, Andrea Rossi, curator of the exhibition, has declared that they won't ask the family of the boy to pay for the restoration and that the painting is insured.

The museum was temporarily closed on Monday but has since re-opened; Rossi has discussed the restoration process with a Taiwanese art restorer but is also considering shipping the 350-year-old masterpiece back to Italy so it can be restored there.

"All 55 paintings in the venue are authentic pieces and they are very rare and precious," TST Art of Discovery, the co-organizer of the exhibition, posted on the exhibition's official Facebook page. “Once these works are damaged, they are permanently damaged … We hope that everyone can protect these precious artworks with us."

Paolo Porpora (1617–1673) was an Italian painter of the late-Baroque, who was active mainly in Naples and specialized in floral still lifes. He is documented as a pupil of Giacomo Recco, the father of Giuseppe Recco, and said to have worked under Aniello Falcone. He joined the Roman Accademia di San Luca from 1656 to 1658. He appears to have been influenced in Rome by Netherlandish still-life painters. Among his pupils were Giovan Battista Ruoppolo and the Neapolitan Onofrio Loth.

Today's homepage Featured Art Video explores the damages to the masterpiece.