Top 10 Priceless Artworks Ruined By Accidents

8:42 am 24 Oct, 2013

Art is a mode of creative expressions. Various artists from the past have lured us with their exceptional artworks. Modern artists have made their own space in the art world with their modern art techniques. But we have been constantly losing some of the famous masterpieces in various forms of accidents. The most notable damage accidents occurred during a public exhibit or transportation or even due to negligence. Let’s take a tour with some of the priceless artworks that were accidentally damaged.


10. 5 stolen masterpieces from French museum:

5 masterpieces were stolen from a French museum, (including a Matisse, a Picasso, and a Modigliani) in 2010. Police and investigators believe that these priceless artworks were dumped in a street dustbin and later got crushed. These pieces were valued at £100 million. Appalling! Isn’t it?

Top 10 Priceless Artworks Ruined By Accidents

9. Le Réve (Steve Wynn):

When showing off ‘Le Reve’, a 1932 oil painting by Pablo Picasso, business magnate Steve Wynn put his elbow through it, damaging this extraordinary painting in the left forearm and creating a 6 inches tear.  It cost $90000 to repair but sold years later for $155 million.

Top 10 Priceless Artworks Ruined By Accidents

8. A Bath (Tracey Emin):

Tracey Emin’s self-portrait features a bath with neon hangings from barbed wire above it. A visitor’s sweater got caught into the wire, completely damaging it. Well, the masterpiece still managed to sustain £1200 worth of damage.

Top 10 Priceless Artworks Ruined By Accidents

7. Priceless 17th century Chinese vases:

This artwork was also splintered into millions of pieces due to an imprudent visitor, who tripped on his shoelace and thereby smashing three 17thcentury Chinese vases. These priceless Chinese vases had made their prominent position in Fitzwilliam museum, Cambridge for more than 40 years. The restoration authority is however determined to put together the million splintered pieces. That’s something called ‘being optimistic.’

Top 10 Priceless Artworks Ruined By Accidents

6. The Actor (Picasso):

Here’s another damage story by a brash art lover. This time a $122,232,000 art piece was punctured badly by a woman, when she lost her balance in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York on 25th January 2010. The rip was of about 5.9 inches in height in lower right corner.

Top 10 Priceless Artworks Ruined By Accidents

5. When it starts dripping from the ceiling:

Modern work of art ‘when it starts dripping from the ceiling’, worth $1,054,251, was also accidentally damaged by a cleaner who was too dedicated for her work that she completely wiped off a layer of paint on the painting, which she thought was a strain.

Top 10 Priceless Artworks Ruined By Accidents

4. A strange restoration of ‘Ecce Homo’:

80 years old Spanish painter Cecilia Gimenez tried to restore a 19th century Ecce Home (behold the man). Dubbed the most awful restoration in history, it soon became Ecce Mono (behold the monkey), as it resembled a crayon sketch of hairy monkey in an ill-fitting tunic.

Top 10 Priceless Artworks Ruined By Accidents

3. Sketches of L.S. Lowry:

A milkman, who delivered to an English artist L.S. Lowry (known as the matchstick man), was given sketches as a tip. What would a milkman do with these sketches? Without knowing their worth, and hating them, he threw the sketches in the dustbin. No wonder… However, that milkman’s posterity would surely be cursing him now because those sketches are now worth $1,528,000.

Top 10 Priceless Artworks Ruined By Accidents

2. A Lucian Freud painting:

Lucian Freud was a German-born British painter. His works are known to highlight psychological ingression, and often discomforting relationship between the artist and model. One such exceptional Lucian Freud painting, worth $240,000, was presented at an auction house in London. However, its crate was mistaken for rubbish and it was thrown out by a keeper and finally lost to a landfill.

Top 10 Priceless Artworks Ruined By Accidents

1. Palaeolithic cave paintings of France:

An enthusiastic revolting youth group in France decided to clean up graffiti in 1992. In their enthusiasm, they did not realise what they were actually rubbing off. They, in their haste, rubbed out 15,000 years old priceless Palaeolithic cave paintings. This damage was termed as the most destructive one from the archaeological point of view.

Top 10 Priceless Artworks Ruined By Accidents

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