Remember the story of the emperor’s new clothes where he was promised clothes of the finest silk and fabric that no one could see? Well, this comes close.
In 2021, Danish artist Jens Haaning was lent money by a museum to recreate art works that represented average incomes as real bank notes. He kept the money and presented empty glass frames with the caption “take the money and run”.
The museum in question, Kunsten Museum of Modern art, displayed the works but is now taking legal action because Haaning refused to return the money.
Director of the museum, Lasse Anderson, said they were not a wealthy museum and that they cannot afford to let Haaning keep the money.
Haaning on his part said taking the money was part of the project and it wasn’t theft. He also encouraged others who worked in miserable working conditions which he likened to his job to do the same thing if they were ever in his position.
This whole situation is tricky and I don’t know how to feel about the whole thing. While the artsy part of me thinks it’s genius, another part of me feels for the museum because they never anticipated this. What do you think?