News 2 May 2023

Hungry man eats artwork worth £96,000 at museum

2 May 2023

A college student at Seoul National University made waves at the Leeum Museum of Art when he devoured an art installation by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan.

The artwork, titled “Comedian,” features a banana taped to the wall and was on display as part of an exhibition called “WE,” which features traditional Korean and contemporary art.

Noh Huyn-soo, the student who ate the banana, defended himself by saying he was “hungry” after missing breakfast.

Video footage captured Noh peeling and eating the artwork, which was valued at $120,000 (around £96,000). After snacking on the banana, Noh reattached the peel to the wall using the artist’s duct tape and calmly walked away.

When asked by museum officials why he ate the artwork, Noh reportedly said he believed that “damaging a work of modern art could also be artwork” and asked, “Isn’t it taped there to be eaten?”

The destruction of the artwork did not seem to bother original artist Cattelan, who took it in stride and said he had “no problem at all” with the visitor eating it. Museum curators replace the banana every two days at the artist’s direction.

Leeum Museum announced that they will not hold Noh liable for eating the banana and a fresh one was later replaced in the artwork.

[Image via Instagram / @shwan.han]