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German museum worker accidentally damages $1.1 million sculpture

November 8, 2011

A private art collector loaned a sculpture worth $1.1 million to the Ostwall Museum in Dortmund, Germany, and it was recently damaged during its stay. The Associated Press reports that a cleaning woman mistook part of the sculpture, a painted puddle, to be real and attempted to scrub it clean.

The sculpture, "When It Starts Dripping from the Ceiling," was built by Martin Kippenberger, a German-born artist who passed away in 1997, and it will remain on display at the museum while insurance adjusters assess the damages. The news source reports that there is a chance that the artwork will be left in its 'cleaned' state if the owner decides to forgo a restoration.

People can make calls to Germany with international calling cards to discuss the implications of the sculpture's accidental alteration and the cleaning woman's faux pas. The maintenance staff of the museum are trained to stay about eight inches away from any piece of art, but a museum spokesperson told The Telegraph that the worker in question was unaware of these rules.

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