Danish artist ordered to repay museum for submitting blank canvasses for exhibition

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 20 — A court in Denmark has ordered an artist to return nearly 500,000 kroner (RM217,538) to a museum after the he gave two blank canvasses for an exhibition named Take the Money and Run.

The Kunsten Museum in Aalborg had wanted Jens Haaning, 58, to embed banknotes in two pieces of art in 2021.

For his daring move, the court ordered Haaning to return the money but graciously allowed him to keep some of it for his expenses, BBC reported.

The project was supposed to be a statement on salaries in Denmark and Austria.

The museum had initially asked Haaning to return all the money, which was around 534,000 kroner (RM232,327) but was rejected by the artist.

On Monday, Haaning was ordered to return the museum 492,549 kroner (RM214,303) which was equivalent to the sum the museum had given him minus the artist's fee and the cost of mounting.

Museum director Lasse Andersson recalled he had laughed out loud when he first saw the two blank canvasses in 2021, but decided to put it on display anyway.

“He stirred up my curatorial staff and he also stirred me up a bit, but I also had a laugh because it was really humoristic,” Andersson had told the BBC's Newsday programme in 2021.

Haaning reportedly said he would not be appealing the decision.