Gallery Selfie Goes Wrong Causing $200,000 in Damages

A video has gone viral of “selfie gone wrong” at an Art Gallery which caused a visitor around $200,000 in damages. Some had speculated that the video may have been staged, but the exhibition’s artist said in an email that this was a genuine accident.

The Incident

A woman tried to take a selfie under one of several crowns placed on pedestals at an art gallery, and ended up falling, causing a row of the pedestals to fall in a domino effect.

Simon Birch, the Hong Kong-based multimedia artist whose exhibition it was, had placed the crowns on rows of pedestals in one of the rooms at the Los Angeles art gallery. According to Birch, the incident cost the woman around $200,000 in damages.

A video of the incident has gone viral on YouTube, with almost 300,000 views

Comments On the Incident

Some had said that the incident may have been staged. This was especially assumed because the person who uploaded the video on YouTube claimed to know Brch, and ended the video with: “The rest of The 14th Factory is one of its kind. …. Go visit before it closes end of July (or before a few more pieces break).”

However, Birch sent an email saying that this was a genuine accident. “We trust people.” Mr. Birch said. “Crowns are fragile things. They are symbols of power. Perhaps it’s ironic and meaningful that they fell.”

Museum Hack, a company which gives visitors quirky and unofficial tours of some of the major museums in the country, said on its site that “Museum selfies are an awesome way to engage audiences with your museum and collections.”

Metropolitan Museum of Art chief officer, Lisa Krassner, said that “visitors are here to enjoy our collection and exhibitions and the entire experience, and we welcome individuals capturing and sharing that experience through photography — as long as it’s done in a way that doesn’t endanger the art or interfere with the experience of others.”