04 March 2006

No appreciation of culcha

BerlinBear avatarNow here's a kid who still needs to work on his appreciation of high culture and fine art. A 12 year-old boy in Detroit has been suspended from school after sticking a piece of gum to a $1.5 million dollar painting during a school field trip. They breed their heathens young in Detroit, it would seem.

According to BBC News, the offending piece of gum was found in the corner of "The Bay", a 1963 abstract ex-pressionist painting by Helen Frankenthaler after the boy and his classmates had departed. Curators are currently working on restoring the painting, but do not expect any permanent damage.

On the one hand, I reckon that by the age of 12, every kid ought to know that a painting in an art museum is not the best place to dispose of his gum, so I don't really buy the "yeah, but he's only 12 after all" argument advanced in his defence by one of his teachers. But then on the other hand, looking at the painting, I can sort of appreciate how the youngster might have thought that a piece of gum might fit in!

In any case, it sounds from the BBC article as though the whole incident has been handled pretty well both by the boy's teachers and the Detroit Institute of Arts, which is encouraging. The article notes, somewhat ominously, His parents had also taken disciplinary action, Ms Kildee said. Yikes! I wonder what the going grounding rate is for vandalising modern art? A year? More? Less?

On the plus side, I suppose, at least the school group was in the art museum in the first place. You have to start somewhere.