Toddler knocks over fly sculpture worth £45K

Fly sculpture
[Image: Katharina Fritsch/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst Bonn, Germany]

In what must be every parent's worst nightmare, a three-year-old toppled over a sculpture worth £45,500 ($56,000) at an art fair in Switzerland last week. The piece of art, named Fliege (Fly), had both its wings knocked off when the toddler reached from her buggy. However a spokesperson for the art show reported that the sculpture was not damaged.

The incident took place at the Art Basel fair, a renowned exhibition that showcases the best in modern and contemporary art. No doubt the cutting edge pieces on display at the fair would sit comfortably alongside our round up of the best examples of experimental design.

The plastic fly sculpture (above), made by German artist Katharina Fritsch, was positioned on a plinth before being knocked over by the toddler. The child, who was in attendance with her mum, did not damage the artwork.

The Art Newspaper  reports that according to an Art Basel spokeswoman, the fair is "aware of the incident” and that it was "informed by the gallery that the work was not damaged." Phew.

This sort of accident would make us feel so awkward that we'd want the ground to swallow us up. Funnily enough, that's practically what happened during another high profile art exhibition gaffe. Last year a man fell into Anish Kapoor's painted hole installation at the Museum of Contemporary Art, in Porto, Portugal.

We're just relieved that the sculpture wasn't damaged. And with the gallery declining to share further details, here's hoping everyone can move on from the honest mistake.

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Dom Carter

Dom Carter is a freelance writer who specialises in art and design. Formerly a staff writer for Creative Bloq, his work has also appeared on Creative Boom and in the pages of ImagineFX, Computer Arts, 3D World, and .net. He has been a D&AD New Blood judge, and has a particular interest in picture books.