Cleaning Lady Damages $1.1M Artwork

Brend Thissen / Landov

Martin Kippenberger’s art installation When It Starts Dripping From the Ceiling was intended to look like a rubber trough that had once been filled with dirty rainwater. Apparently the artist’s work was so realistic that a cleaning person at Germany’s Ostwall Museum, where the installation is on display, thought the handpainted patina was dirt and went to work washing it away. The piece remains on display while insurance reps and the installation’s owner evaluate the damage. Some who knew Kippenberger—who died in 1997—believe the sometimes outlandish “bad boy” artist would have appreciated the cleaning woman’s contribution to his work.