Couple mistakenly defaces $400,000 artwork in South Korea gallery

  • 17 Apr - 23 Apr, 2021
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Mag Files

An artwork worth more than $400,000 on display in South Korea was accidentally defaced by a couple who thought spectators were meant to participate in the art. The painting, "Untitled" by American artist John Andrew Perello (known by JonOne), was hanging at the Lotte World Mall in Seoul as part of the "Street Noise" exhibition that opened there in February. The piece was set up with paint cans and brushes scattered around it, which reportedly led to the couple to assume that it was a participatory work. That was not the case, and now the couple may be liable to help with some of the restoration costs. The staff at the exhibition noticed the piece had been vandalised on March 28 when they identified three brush strokes on the painting that had not been there before. The couple were seen on security footage adding their mark to the painting. The pair told police that they thought they were meant to add their own mark to the painting, which was the only piece in the exhibit not to have a frame due to its large size. "Given the circumstances, the young couple does not seem to have done it intentionally," JonOne told ABC News. "I hope the piece gets restored to meet the Korean audience like before." According to the Times, the restoration will likely cost around $9,000.