Enough to make Mona Lisa smile: Taiwan boy falls through Italian masterpiece

Tue Aug 25, 2015 7:17am EDT
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TAIPEI (Reuters) - A T$50 million ($1.54 million) masterpiece by an 17th century Italian artist was back on display in the Taiwan capital on Tuesday after a 12-year-old boy tripped, fell and punched a hole in the canvass, the exhibit organizer said.

"Flowers" by Italian master Paolo Porpora is part of a Taipei exhibit showcasing artwork painted by or influenced by Leonardo da Vinci, according to main organizer David Sun.

The boy's fall appeared to have been influenced by the Marx Brothers.

"It was such an unusual accident," Sun said. "The boy was listening to the guide and wasn't looking where he was going, and tripped and smashed a hole in the artwork."

Sun said the boy and his family had expressed sincere regret won't face any punishment.

"We had an Italian appraiser on hand and immediately contacted the collector," Sun said. "We decided to repair the painting immediately on site and it's back on display already."

($1 = 32.4 Taiwan dollars)

(Reporting by Michael Gold; Editing by Nick Macfie)