German Museum Employee Fired After Secretly Hanging Up His Own Painting

An employee at the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich, Germany, was fired from the museum’s installation team after he was found to have hung his own artwork on the gallery walls after hours on February 23.

Though this was an inherently victimless crime, the 51-year-old freelance artist is currently being investigated by local police for “property damage” because he drilled two holes into the wall to hang his painting in the hopes that it would lead to his artistic breakthrough, the police told German news outlet Süddeutsche Zeitung, which first reported the story.

The article indicates that the former employee had access to the museum and was able to bring in and display his artwork unnoticed. According to the Guardian, he installed his painting in the museum’s modern and contemporary art section, allowing the approximately 23-by-47-inch work to share a room with Warhol pieces for eight hours before anyone noticed. The institution has not yet made details about the content of the artwork public.

The museum didn’t immediately respond to Hyperallergic‘s request for comment, but a spokesperson told the Guardian that they wouldn’t comment further to prevent inspiring copycats. Adding insult to injury, they said the museum “did not receive any positive feedback on the addition from visitors to the gallery.”

Banksy pulled the same stunt at several museums in the early aughts, including installing his version of the Mona Lisa with an acid smiley-face at the Louvre in Paris in 2004 — which he later auctioned off for tens of thousands of pounds. While Banksy and the former Pinakothek employee both remain nameless to the press at this time, it’s clear who came out winning here. At least now the latter has more time to dedicate to working toward his artistic breakthrough?


Rhea Nayyar (she/her) is a New York-based teaching artist who is passionate about elevating minority perspectives within the academic and editorial spheres of the art world. Rhea received her BFA in Visual…
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