Status: 23.09.2023, 18:00 p.m.
By: Carina Blumenroth
Hanging banknotes behind glass as art in the museum – that was the idea of the Kunsten Museum of Modern Art. But the result is only white frames.
Art is in the eye of the beholder and artists have all the freedom to live out their art. It's not quite that true. Artistic freedom has limits, including the fact that nothing should be done differently than agreed. Banknotes behind glass were to be used for an exhibition at the Kunsten Museum of Modern Art in Aalborg, Denmark. In the end, you got a legal dispute.
Money behind glass: it was supposed to symbolize the average income in Denmark
The artwork "Take the money and run" by Jens Haaning in the Kunsten Museum of Modern Art. Actually, banknotes were supposed to be on display, but a legal dispute followed. © Niels Fabæk/Kunsten Museum of Modern Art Aalborg
For the second time, the artist Jens Haaning was to artistically depict the Danish average income for the Kunsten Museum of Modern Art. For this purpose, banknotes should be packed into a frame. The project was planned based on the average income from 2021. According to the Federal Statistical Office, this amounted to 68,110 US dollars that year. But Haaning has something else to give: "I decided to do something different and take all the money. Instead of sending them the frames with money, I sent them without money," the artist said, according to N-TV.
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He is said to have kept crowns worth over 70,000 euros
Haaning is said to have retained crowns worth over 70,000 euros, according to N-TV. Those responsible for the museum have filed a lawsuit. According to museum director Lasse Andersson, the plan was different: "There is a work of art and there is money that is missing. According to the contract, the money should be within limits during the exhibition. That would have been his work of art. But after the exhibition, we want it back because it's our money."
Since September 18, there has been a preliminary verdict, as Kunsten Museum of Modern Art announces on its own website. For the time being, it was stated that Haaning would receive more fees, but that he would have to repay around 66,000 euros. However, the verdict is not yet final, so the museum does not currently share any further assessments and comments on the subject.