LOS ANGELES, CALIF. (CBS NEWS) – This may be one of the most expensiveyet.
Pedestals holding valuable sculptures toppled over — domino-style — at pop-up art exhibition two weeks ago after a visitor lost her balance as she snapped a quick picture, causing $200,000 worth of damage.
Crowns made of brass, nylon, gold plate, marble, wood, stone and metal came crashing down as a row of 10 pillars they were resting on collapsed, one after the other.
The sculptures were a part of Hong Kong-based British artist Simon Birch’s latest immersive art project at The 14th Factory, a temporary art exhibit held in a 150,000 square-foot warehouse in Los Angeles.
Three of the crown sculptures were permanently damaged and others to varying degrees, Jocelyn Ingram, a spokesperson for 14th Factory Foundation, told CBS News.
“Each sculpture that had fallen involves 20 to 30 hours of man labor, including the artist’s conception, 3D designers’ modeling and metal welders and workers’ crafting and assembly,” Ingram said.
A surveillance video of the painfully awkward moment was leaked onto YouTubeon Thursday, and has received 915,000 views as of Friday evening.
The video shows the girl kneeling down and posing for a selfie. She accidentally loses her footing and bumps into a pillar, falling down in the process.
Some questioned whether the expensive mishap was really just a PR stunt.
“The truth is, the event did happen and it was caught on our security camera,” Ingram said. “It would be pretty irrational for the artists behind these sculptures to intentionally inflict harm on their own work hoping to gain any benefit.”
Now that the video is online, Ingram said she hopes to direct attention away from the unfortunate event and to the art in The 14th Factory space and the artists behind them.
“Although some of the artists involved in the project seem relatively unknown or emerging in the U.S., many of them have had long successful careers in Asia spanning over 20 years,” she added.
The art installation will be in Los Angeles until the end of the month.