A 12-year old boy was on a guided tour with his mother at a museum in Taipei, Taiwan on Sunday (August 23) when he tripped in a very unfortunate spot. As he held his arms out to break his fall, he punched a hole in a 350 year-old Paolo Porpora oil painting entitled "Flowers". "Flowers" was the only painting that Porpora signed himself, and was painted in approximately 1660.
The "Face of Leonardo: Images of a Genius" exhibition features 55 paintings from around the world "gathered from the finest art collectors" and includes portraits of Leonardo da Vinci.
Exhibition organizer Sun Chi-hsuan told reporters that boy was very nervous about his accident, and that he wouldn't be blamed or held responsible for the damage. The painting was insured, so any steps taken to restore the damage will be covered.
The boy's nervousness is well-placed. The organizers have said that "all 55 paintings in the venue are authentic pieces and they are very rare and precious". In a Facebook post they continued to say that "once these words are damaged, they are permanently damaged".
Chief conservator Tsai Shun-Jen stated that the main obstacle will be the panting's fragility, due to its advanced age. He said that "the priority is to strengthen its structure, not retouching the paint on the damaged area".
The boy isn't alone in his museum misadventure. In 2006, a man tripped and broke three 300-year old Chinese vases, a Las Vegas casino mogul accidentally elbowed Pablo Picasso's "Le Reve" and in 2010 a woman fell into another Picasso painting.
Watch the cringe-worthy incident below: