Blank canvas creator ordered to repay museum

Blank canvas creator ordered to repay museum

London: A Danish artist has been ordered to pay just under £57,000 ($109,000) to a museum after giving them two blank canvasses for a piece he called Take the Money and Run.

Jens Haaning was meant to embed the 500,000 Danish Kroner in banknotes he received from the Kunsten Museum in Aalborg into the framed fabric.

Instead, he pocketed the cash and handed over two empty white canvasses.

“The work is that I have taken their money,” he told local media.

“Take the Money and Run,” by artist Jens Haaning. Photographer: Mette Kirstine Goddiksen/Kunsten Museum of Modern Art Aalborg

The 2021 art project was meant to be a statement on salaries in Denmark and Austria but drew a demand from the museum for the artist to return the £61,000 it had given him.

Haaning, 58, refused, which led to a long legal battle over the blank frames, which the museum exhibited.

On Monday, a court in Copenhagen ordered him to refund the museum, but said he could keep roughly £4,000 of the cash for his expenses and artist’s fee.

After his defeat, Haaning, whose work focuses on power and inequality, told the website he would not be appealing the judgement.

“It has been good for my work, but it also puts me in an unmanageable situation where I don’t really know what to do,” he said.