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28 February 2006

the relationship between art, children, and chewing (or maybe bubble) gum

"The Bay" (1963) by Helen Frankenthaler
Copyright © 1996 The Detroit Institute of Arts

The Associated Press
Tuesday 28 February 2006

Boy, 12, sticks gum
on $1,500,000
Detroit museum painting

DETROIT -- The Detroit Institute of Arts is stuck with having to repair a painting worth $1,500,000.

It has to remove a stain left by a wad of gum stuck on the painting by a 12-year-old visitor.

It happened Friday. Museum officials said the boy was with a group from Holly Academy in Oakland County, Mich., when he took the gum out of his mouth and stuck it on Helen Frankenthaler's 1963 abstract painting "The Bay."

The gum didn't stick to the fiber of the canvas, but left a stain the size of a quarter. Museum experts are researching the chemicals in the gum to decide how to clean the painting.

Holly Academy director Julie Kildee said the boy had been suspended from the charter school and said his parents also have disciplined him.

"Even though we give very strict guidelines on proper behavior and we hold students to high standards, he is only 12 and I don't think he understood the ramifications of what he did before it happened, but he certainly understands the severity of it now," said Kildee.

Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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