A Danish artist absconded with the half-million kroner a museum lent him to incorporate into an installation, and named the installation, “Take the Money and Run.” As 56-year-old artist Jens Haaning pocketed the 534,000 kroner (roughly $84,000), the Kunsten Museum of Modern Art received two empty frames. Now, the Aalborg museum is accusing Haaning of breaking the legal terms of his commission, and demanding he return the cash. “The work is that I have taken their money,” Haaning told a Danish radio station.
The museum had asked Haaning, a celebrated figure known for his artistic commentaries on money and power, to recreate two of his older works, composed of banknotes pinned to the canvas. “Jens should not have the money because it is not part of the agreement,” Lasse Andersson, the museum’s director, said. Haaning has until Jan. 14 to return the sum. In the meantime, Kunsten Museum is still displaying the pair of frames. “It’s a comment on how we all work and it’s probably also a comment on the value of what he creates,” Andersson said. “So there are lots of layers that we think are interesting.”