An elderly tourist in Rome fell onto the Baroque artist Guido Reni’s St. Francis receiving the stigmata and ripped a hole in it.
Guards cordoned off the area immediately after the incident, which took place at the Galleria Borghese. The tourist has been identified as an elderly American woman and the museum issued a statement suggesting that she may have been feeling ill.
Italy’s Corriere della Sera has suggested instead that the fall may have happened due to the work’s installation on a low platform, which allegedly caused a journalist to trip at the show’s opening. Members of the visiting public also apparently reported similar incidents.
Museum officials have described the damage, a one-and-a-half inch rip in the painting’s lower section, as a
slight superficial tear.”
The work, loaned by the Museo di Roma at the Palazzo Braschi, remained on display through May 1, with a protective adhesive covering the tear –a conservation technique known, according to Artnet News, as
Also known as,
an old lady fell into the painting and ripped it, so we put a piece of tape over it…”
Also known as
bad museum installation design”
If you’re going to install a 17th century painting as part of a exhibition display on a platform, why not put it under non-glare plexiglass and/or set it back far from the reach of the public?
(Photos, Galleria Borghese; via Artnet News)