Thursday, October 18, 2007

Priceless Chair and Priceless Story

I snapped this photo on Tuesday, October 16, 2007 at the entrance of the Chinese exhibit; take a good look at this priceless chair, valued at approximately $600,000. It has a priceless story attached to it, which occurred in June, 2000.

From an AP press report:
A museum visitor looking for a place to rest his feet
picked an expensive place to sit.

The man failed to heed a do-not-touch sign Sunday at
the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and sat down on a
16th-century Ming Dynasty chair, breaking its
horseshoe-shaped back in three places.

Officials said the chair, worth six figures, can be

"We were very fortunate the chair backing broke on old
break lines," said Evan Maurer, museum director. "It's
been broken before."

The chair will be sent to the restorer in London who
previously worked on it.

No charges will be filed against the visitor, whose
name was not released.

"It was a terrible mistake, and he felt terrible about
it," Maurer said.
My comment? STUPID MAN!!


  1. But Kate, I was just exhausted!
    Kidding of course....what a story!

  2. Yikes!! He got the most expensive seat in the house for sure. Great story to go with the photo :)

  3. He was probably the security guard :)

  4. Stupid indeed! Was the cordoned off area not a big enough clue? *Shakes head*

  5. Let's ask for visitors seats in museum and exhibition !

  6. The "stupid man" was lucky to meet a very understanding museum director! Stupid or not, I guess the man must at least have FELT very stupid for a while!

  7. Anonymous4:52 AM

    Why is it that people touch red got pot bellied stoves? Or why touch a freshly painted anything with a "Do Not Touch" sign hanging on it? This person would have blistered fingers and some digits covered in wet paint. Instead he broke a priceless chair's back. What an idiot.

  8. Beautiful chair, fascinating story and yes, what an idiot! Almost beyond belief how stupid some people can be.

  9. Chris and Deb just ahve stolen my own answer! ;-)

  10. Me again...Have heard about this story happened in London (I think so): in a modern museum, a man who had been asked to clean the place washed a wall covered with graffiti. But this graffiti was a work of art which was very expensive! Which one is a stupid man?

  11. Geez, you would think people would read and heed the signs. Must be the same guy I followed into worjk the other morningweaving, speeding, slowing, on the shoulder...and on the cell. Dumb is right. Thankfully, the chaie can be repaired.

  12. Reminds me of a recent court case in Avignon, France where a woman planted a lipstick-laden kiss on an all-white painting by the American artist Cy Twombly. She told the court she had committed an "act of love", not a crime.

    There are stupid people worldwide ;-)

  13. I agree with your comment. How in the world could anyone mistake a part of a museum exhibit, for a place to rest?!?

    Additional 'crazy' thought. Wish that chair could speak... Tell us how it was broken the first time. And if it has ever been sat in again, since being repaired then. ,-)


  14. At least the chair can be repaired! In the case of alice's story... perhaps the most expensive and famous graffiti in the WORLD was covered. It was the work of one of my personal heros banksy...
    I guess we all have our lapses, some are just more expensive than others.

  15. Anonymous10:41 AM

    oh what a story indeed...poor guy, at least he felt bad about his err lapse in the smarts department...

  16. wfEhm... I'm so sorry about my ignorance but why this chair is it priceless? How old is it? Who was used to sit there? ...? From your shot it looks like an usual Ikea chair so I can justify (eve if not to understand) who sit there :-)

  17. People don't read and when they do they think the rules don't pertain to them. Stupid man is right.
    Great story and picture to go with it Kate.

  18. Anonymous9:56 PM

    Kate: The Catrita is it in a very nce museum "Museo de Arte Polular", if you come to Mexico city we would go to visit.
    You can see oher photos in

    Tanks for all


  19. That man should be charged with the costs of the restoration. Interesting story and great shot.

  20. Well... But why was this very expensive and very fragile chair not cordoned off? Isn't it the museum's responsibility to protect the exhibit?

    Would a child heed a "do not touch" sign?

    Was this man able to read? Did he understand English?

  21. His wife probably said "Now, you SIT HERE and wait for me"...

  22. hope the restorer didn't charge to redo it... obviously the first repair wasn't very strong!

  23. He must have been REALLY tired or BORED. :-)

    Glad to know the museum didn't make a big deal off of it. Accidents do happen.

  24. I've lived enough places and worked with and known enough folks in my 45 years here on earth to feel pretty confident now of my long-held belief that there is NO plumbing the depths of human stupidity.

    Can you imagine how freaked out the curators and museum help were just after it happened? Jeesh, I'd have fainted.


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