[Image courtesy of Thoibao.today.]
Hey there, fellow puzzlers and PuzzleNationers. Do you remember that post I did a month or two ago about the woman who defaced a piece of crossword-inspired art?
If you don’t recall, a 91-year-old woman was visiting the Neues Museum in Nuremberg with a senior citizens group when she found the piece, “Reading-work-piece” by artist Arthur Koepcke, and began filling in the empty grid, mistakenly thinking it was an interactive art work.
The museum was none too pleased with her efforts, and restored the piece to its original condition.
But as it turns out, that’s not the end of the story.
You see, the woman claims — in a seven-page rebuttal to the German police’s investigation of her vandalism — that she has not harmed the work, instead arguing that she has brought the work greater public attention thanks to her efforts, reinvigorating interest in the piece and increasing its value.
[Image courtesy of Bill Watterson.]
Amazingly, that is not all. According to Ars Technica UK:
Frau K.’s lawyer claimed that her additions meant that she now held the copyright of the combined artwork — and that, in theory, the private collector might sue the museum for destroying that new collaboration by restoring it to its original state.
Yes, they assert that the private collector who loaned the Koepcke work to the Neues Museum might not only approve of her defacement of the piece, but be angry with the museum for their efforts to ensure that the piece was returned to him in the same condition.
Well, that’s certainly doubling down on your hand. It takes a certain confidence and bombast to make a claim like that, but the woman believes she’s in the right artistically.
The argument is based around the spirit of Koepcke’s work, which was part of the Fluxus movement. They go on to explain that “Fluxus artists did not agree with the authority of museums to determine the value of art, nor did they believe that one must be educated to view and understand a piece of art.”
It will certainly be interesting to see where the case goes from here. Naturally, I can’t help but wonder. Heck, if Da Vinci had been a Fluxus devotee. I could’ve drawn a mustache on the Mona Lisa and made millions.
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