A Jeff Koons sculpture worth £35,000 has been accidentally smashed during a VIP event at a gallery in Miami.
The piece, a small, blue version of the artist’s famous “balloon dog” series was on display during the preview event at the Art Wynwood gallery.
A number of guests initially thought the mishap was a piece of performance art or a stunt when it crashed to the ground.
Artist Stephen Gamson, who was at the event, told a local Fox News station that he saw a woman touching the sculpture.
“I saw this woman was there, and she was tapping (the sculpture), and then the thing fell over and shattered into thousands of pieces.”
A bystander filmed a video as gallery employees swept up the glass with a voice saying “I can’t believe somebody would knock that over”, in the background.
Benedicte Caluch, an art adviser with Bel-Air Fine Art, which sponsored the Koons piece, told the Miami Herald the woman did not mean to break the piece and that insurance would cover the damage.
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Koons, an American painter and sculptor famed for taking inspiration from everyday objects, such as balloon animals, was not at the event.
Some of his works have sold for as much as £75m.