Copenhagen– A Danish museum has asked an artist to return around $83,000 he had been given in cash to recreate old artworks using banknotes, after he produced blank canvasses with the title “Take the Money and Run”.
Jens Haaning, the Danish artist, was commissioned by the Kunsten Museum. He was asked to reproduce two of his works representing the annual salary in Denmark and Austria. But the artist pocketed the cash and produced the blank canvasses.
The museum’s reaction has so far been mixed, reported the BBC. Although the museum is now considering whether to report Haaning to the police if he hasn’t returned the cash by the time the exhibition ends in January, media reports said.
“He stirred up my curatorial staff and he also stirred me up a bit, but I also had a laugh because it was really humoristic,” Lasse Andersson, director of the museum in the city of Aalborg, told the BBC.
However, Andersson made it clear that the money has to be paid back when the exhibition ends.
“It’s the museum’s money and we have a contract saying that the money will be back on January 16,” he said.
This is despite, Haaning, 56, vowing to keep the cash.
“The work is that I have taken their money,” he told dr.dk, a Danish news website.
“I encourage other people who have just as miserable working conditions as me to do the same,” he said, adding that recreating his past works would have put him 25,000 kroner out of pocket.
Andersson though told the BBC that he refuted Haaning’s claim that the museum had not agreed to pay him fairly.
“We just signed up for an agreement with the Danish artists association that raises what artists are paid when they are exhibiting,” he said.
“I think Jens has kind of broken the bargain.” (IANS)