Jeff Koons, “Gazing Ball (Perugino Madonna and Child with Four Saints)” (2014-15) / museum visitor
In April 2018, this work was damaged while on view at Amsterdam’s Nieuwe Kerk, a 15th-century church that frequently hosts art installations.
“Gazing Ball…” is a meticulous remake of an altarpiece by the 16th-century Italian artist Pietro Perugino (”Madonna and Child with Four Saints”), offset by a blue glass ball. Hoping to take a closer look at the work, an attendee touched and accidentally dislodged the sphere, causing it to fall to the floor and shatter.
A spokesperson said the individual concerned was “deeply shocked,” and confirmed that the sabotage hadn’t been intentional. “He wanted to touch the artwork like lots of other people. Then the ball shattered.”