Garbage Bin Is Full Of It

Of what? Trash? Well yes… and no. It’s full of ART.

Marius van Dokkum

Marius van Dokkum

A cleaning woman in Bari, southern Italy, has unwittingly thrown away contemporary artworks. The exhibition opened on Wednesday and various trashed “items”  was supposed to become a part of  Sala Murat’s display.

His employee  “was just doing her job”, said  bewildered head of the cleaning company Lorenzo Roca. The woman thought the artworks were part of rubbish left behind by those setting up for the installation.

A “priceless” part of an artistic arrangement, consisting primarily of crumbled cookies, arranged on the floor with great artistry also ended its short life as a masterpiece in the garbage bin.

The value of trashed artworks was estimated at approximately 10,000 euros ($13,700). Luckily, the cleaning company was properly insured and the insurance coverage will be used to pay for the damage.

If it looks like garbage, found where garbage is often found and created by people who are prone to producing trash — art and otherwise — then it must be either trash… or a piece of contemporary art.

The Italian cleaning woman is not the first “unenlightened” person to mistake art for trash.

In 2001, a Damien Hirst installation at London’s Eyestorm Gallery consisting of a collection of beer bottles, coffee cups and overflowing ashtrays was cleared away.Damien Hirst

In 1999 Tracey Emin was on the verge of winning the Turner Prize for her conceptual piece  My Bed, when one of the museums’s patrons saw the exhibit and, believing that it had been vandalized, picked up trash, straightened up and made the bed.

What a ruination! Only Tracey Emin’s genius was capable of recreating the “incomparable masterpiece” to its original disheveled glory.


Tracy Emin. My Bed

In 2004, a bag of paper and cardboard by German artist Gustav Metzger was also thrown out while on a display at Tate Britain.Gustav Metzer
The “demolished” art pieces were restored. I can’t see the cookie crumbs.  Must be there somewhere.At the exhibition


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