A Danish artist has been ordered to return nearly 500,000 kroner (€67,000) to a museum after it handed over two blank canvases for a work he called “Take the money and run” (Take the Money and Run).
The Kunsten Museum in Aalborg was intended by Jens Haaning to incorporate the banknotes into two artworks in 2021.
Instead, he handed out blank canvases and then told dr.dk: “The work is that I took their money.”
A court has now ordered him to pay back the cash – but keep some for expenses.
The artwork was intended as a statement about wages in Denmark and Austria.
The museum asked the artist to return all the money, about 534,000 kroner (£61,000 / €71,635 / $76,539) – but Mr Haaning refused. Now, after a long legal battle, a Copenhagen court on Monday ordered Mr. Haaning, 58, to return 492,549 kroner to the museum, according to BBC.
This amount, he said, was equivalent to what the museum had given him minus the artist’s fee and installation costs.
Museum director Lasse Andersson said he had laughed out loud when he first saw the two white canvases in 2021 and decided to display the works anyway. “It upset my editors and it upset me a bit, but I laughed too because it was really humorous,” Andersson told the BBC’s Newsday in 2021.
After the decision, Mr. Haaning told dr.dk that he does not intend to take the case any further. “It’s been good for my job, but it also puts me in an unmanageable situation where I don’t really know what to do.”
On Monday, he told TV2 Nord that the museum earned “much, much more” money than it invested thanks to the publicity from the case.
Source: News Beast
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