Museum Employee Fired After Strange Discovery Near Work of Legendary Artists

Museum Employee Fired After Strange Discovery Near Work of Legendary Artists

Sometimes taking a shot in the dark and going for broke can realize great dividends. But other time it ends in disaster — as one museum worker in Germany found out first hand.

A 51-year-old employee of the Pinakothek der Moderne art museum in Munich, Germany, who is himself an artist, thought he had a sure-fire way to get his own work noticed. It turns out he got the “fire” part right, anyway, because he was fired from his job over the scheme.

As reported by the German news source Südddeutsche Zeitung, the employee was not only fired, but is now the subject of a police investigation.

The museum said that the employee had been working to help put up a new exhibit across the walls when an unexpected piece of art was found mounted on the wall surrounded by far more famous counterparts, People noted.

The employee’s activities were not noticed for some time because he was part of the actual crew and was often see “carrying tools” in the museum. But he used that cover to hang his own work among the masters.

Eventually, museum supervisors realized that a painting measuring 24 inches x 47 inches had been placed on the wall using two holes bored into the surface to mount it.

According to reports, one way the museum staff found out about the unauthorized painting was when visitors asked about the work.

“All I can say is that we did not receive any positive feedback on the addition from visitors to the gallery,” one museum representative told the media.

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German police said that the man admitted to them that he hoped the surreptitious hanging of the painting would lead to an “artistic breakthrough” for him.

“The employee considers himself as an artist, and most likely saw his role in the museum’s installation team as a day-job to support his true calling,” the museum said in a statement.

For a short while, it worked. There it was, hanging next to great artists, including Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso.

Ultimately, after hanging for a least a day, the art was removed and returned to the stealthy artist, and he was then banned from ever returning to the facility.

Museum spokesperson Tine Nehler told the New York Times that the reason the ex-employee was banned was simple: “You can’t really have a person like that guarding the high-security wing.”

The employee has not been named publicly as he has not yet been charged with a crime.

However, that could change. Several news outlets have noted that the man is now the focus of an investigation by the police for damaging private property since he drilled holes in the museum’s walls to hang in contraband artwork.

This was not the first stealth art that somehow showed up in a museum.

Last November another artist also tried to hang her painting among more famous counterparts at a museum in Bonn, Germany. But in that case, things ended on a sunnier note for the stealth artist, Business Insider reported.

The unauthorized work by Danai Emmanouilidis was praised by the museum and auctioned off, with the proceeds going to an arts charity for refugees.

One is tempted to blame these acts on the “me” culture where everyone is told how special they are. Whatever else is behind it all, it is for sure a violation of trust between the museums and the art-loving public.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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