Confused Cleaner Scrubs 'Stain' Off $1.1M Sculpture

Kippenberger work damaged beyond repair: museum
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2011 1:21 PM CDT
Confused Cleaner Scrubs 'Stain' Off $1.1M Martin Kippenberger Sculpture
"When it Starts Dripping from the Ceiling," by German artist Martin Kippenberger, in the Ostwall museum in Dortmund, western Germany.   (AP Photo/dapd/Mike Siepmann)

She thought she was just doing her job; instead, she was forever altering a $1.1 million artwork. A cleaner in a German museum spotted what she thought was an unintended stain on a sculpture and decided to wash it off. The piece by the late Martin Kippenberger, “When It Starts Dripping from the Ceilings,” is a wooden structure with a bowl underneath.

The bowl is painted to appear discolored by dripping water. The cleaner made short work of the paint job, the Telegraph reports. “It is now impossible to return it to its original state,” says a museum rep, noting that cleaners are not supposed to come within 8 inches of a work. The piece will, however, remain on display, the AP notes. (More cleaning stories.)

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