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Custodial Revenge

from artnet

Over 60 Artworks Trashed at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf

Alexander Forbes

Some of the 60 works destroyed at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf that were later brought back into the building Photo: Andreas Endermann via RP

A disgruntled janitor or group of janitors at the renowned Kunstakademie Düsseldorf (Düsseldorf Academy of Art) has destroyed over 60 artworks, the Rheinische Post (RP) reports. Mostly canvases, many of the pieces were slashed with a knife and stomped on to break their stretchers. They were then thrown in a dumpster in the academy’s courtyard.

Understandably, the students whose work was trashed are outraged. “The whole situation is extremely emotional,” their chosen representative, Sabrina Straub, told the RP. Many of the works that were destroyed had not yet been assessed by the students’ professors. Others were to be sold.

Considering the consistently illustrious careers of the academy’s alumni—among them some of Germany’s most expensive, such as Gerhard RichterJoseph BeuysSigmar Polke, Günther Uecker, and Thomas Schütte, as well as recent star David Ostrowski—the long-term economic impact of the destruction could be in the millions. (For the perpetrator’s sake, we hope none of current-professor Peter Doig’s works happened to fall into the fray.)

The Kunstakademie Düsseldorf’s director, Rita McBride, was similarly floored by the incident. “It’s just terrible for the students,” she told the paper. “The works are irreplaceable.” However, in a letter to the academy’s student body the administration’s contrition was more measured. It read, “Relevant members of the janitorial staff have been spoken to about their flawed approach,” in this matter.

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Posted on June 25, 2014 by Editor

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