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12-Year-Old Boy Falls Over And Punches Hole In Centuries-Old Artwork

And then tries to act real casual about it.

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A 12-year-old boy in Taiwan tripped and accidentally punched a hole in a 17th-century oil painting at an art exhibit, organizers told several media outlets.

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Security footage released by the organizers captured the boy walking through the gallery and holding a drink, when he stumbles and puts his arms out to steady himself. He left a hole the size of a fist in the artwork.

The 350-year-old painting was on display at The Face of Leonardo: Images of a Genius exhibition in Taipei.

Facebook: thefaceofleonardo

The organisers of the exhibition said the painting was "Flowers", by late-Baroque-period Italian painter Paolo Porpora. It was valued at $1.5 million.

According to Focus Taiwan, a blogger has pointed out that it is very similar to a painting by Mario Nuzzi, but the gallery denies it has misidentified the piece.


"All 55 paintings in the venue are authentic pieces and they are very rare and precious," the exhibition's organisers said in a post on the official Facebook page.

"Once these works are damaged, they are permanently damaged...we hope that everyone can protect these precious artworks with us," it read.

As for the boy, the organisers told Taiwanese media he was "very nervous", but he will not be forced to pay for the damage, as all the paintings were insured.

Alexandra Lee is a politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney, Australia.

Contact Alex Lee at

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