This is How Some Priceless Art Was Destroyed
The following list contains some irreplaceable art that was deliberately and inadvertently destroyed. They were irreplaceable, worth millions, meaningful pieces of art, but none of them any longer is in the same condition as it once was. This is how they looked and how they were destroyed.
1 The George Harrison Tree
Everyone knows that George Harrison was a member of one of the biggest bands in history, The Beatles. But, he was more than a musician. He also a successful filmmaker, humanitarian, and spiritual person who brought Eastern music and culture to the western masses. Last but not least, in his spare time Harrison was an avid gardener.
In 2004, a few years after his death, Harrison was honored in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park with a tree planted in his memory. A plaque at the base of the tree reads: “In memory of a great humanitarian who touched the world as an artist, a musician and a gardener.”
Unfortunately, the tree has been killed by beetles! Bark beetles have been wreaking havoc on trees all over the park, not sparing the tree planted in his honor. Oh the irony.
2 The fresco that became more famous after it was ruined
Elias Garcia Martinez’s 122-year-old Ecce Homo painting gain more attention outside the Spanish town of Borja, after it got “restoration” work done by the then 80-year-old Cecilia Gimenez.
Noticing that the fresco inside of the church was flaking badly due to the moisture in the building, an elderly devotee decided to take it upon herself to “restore” the painting.
Acting without authorization from anyone involved with the church, Gimenez painted over the work with extremely amateur broadstrokes, resulting in the depiction of Christ looking more like an ape. Originally called Ecce Homo (Behold the Man), the painting is now affectionately referred to as Ecce Mono (Behold the Monkey).
The church where the painting resides has since become a tourist attraction and when visits skyrocketed, they began to charge admission to see the botched fresco. At one point, €2000 ($2600) was collected in just four days with the money going to a local charity.
It seems the painter, whose work the world laughed at, has the last laugh. Gimenez recently signed a merchandising contract that will allow her to take in 49 percent of the profits that come from the sale of tote bags and other items that feature the Ecce Mono’s likeness. What a great twist of a situation.
3 The man who tripped and caused a damage of almost $1 million
The Qing Dynasty vases are perfectly painted, with great details on them and cost a lot. Like, extremely a lot. In 2006, the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, England had an exhibition that featured three Qing Dynasty vases. Although the museum director valued the vases at £500,000 ($849,000), how did the museum display the three Chinese porcelain dating from the 17th century? They kept the priceless vases on an unguarded windowsill at the base of a staircase completely unprotected! Nick Flynn of Fowlmere, a man who visited the museum, Cambridgeshire was the one who was responsible for the catastrophe. The 42-year-old man told reporters that he had gone up the wrong staircase. As he swung around to come down, Flynn tripped over his untied shoelace and fell down the stairs right into the Qing Dynasty vases, shattering them into hundreds of tiny pieces. Flynn picked himself off the floor and left the museum, but not before he was photographed amidst the rubble of broken vases. Flynn was later found and arrested on suspicion of criminal damage.
4 Broken wine bottle that cost 78 000 dollars
The mixologist Salvatore Calabrese is creator of what would have been the world’s most expensive cocktail. The cocktail concoction would have consisted of 40ml of 1788 Clos de Griffier Vieux Cognac, 20ml of 1770 Kummel Liqueur, 20ml of 1860 Dubb Orange Curacao and two dashes of Angostura Bitters from the 1900s. If you wanted the drink, it would have cost you about $8,800. The famous bartender was working at the Playboy club in London when in June 2012, a customer decided to order the drink and asked to see the bottle of 1788 Clos de Griffier Vieux that was supposed to make up the bulk of his drink. The bottle was valued at $78,000. But, the customer dropped the bottle before Calabrese could add the Clos de Griffier Vieux to the drink, shattering both the bottle and the famed bartender’s dreams of making the world’s most expensive drink.
The bottle was insured which made it a bit easier for Salvatore to forgive the customer, but still… it’s all gone now.