When I was a kid I had a habit of needing to touch everything, so when I was taken anywhere with anything remotely breakable, my parents would very sternly warn me, “Don’t touch anything!” Of course, I’m sure I did but I don’t remember ever breaking anything, at least not anything expensive.
That wasn’t the case for a young boy in Overland Park, Kansas recently. He managed to topple a sculpture worth $132,000 and now his parents are stuck with the bill. To be fair, the whole thing was an accident and the boy was actually being rather adorable by trying to give the sculpture a hug.
The incident didn’t occur at a high-end store or even an art gallery as might be expected, but at a wedding reception in a community center.
The whole thing was caught on security camera and you can watch the footage for yourself below:
Unfortunately, those in charge at the Tomahawk Ridge Community Center didn’t find the incident so adorable and allegedly yelled at the boy and are charging his parents for the damage to the sculpture, citing negligence on their part for failing to monitor their son at all times.
The boy’s mother, Sarah Goodman explained, “We heard a bunch of commotion and I thought, ‘Who’s yelling at my son?’ This glass mosaic torso is laying on the ground and someone is following me around demanding my personal information.”
The Goodmans have since received a letter from an insurance company claiming they were negligent parents and must cough up some serious cash to foot the bill for the sculpture’s damage.
I do have to wonder what kind of community center has expensive artwork on display without any sort of security measures in place. Last I checked, children were part of the community, too, and any community center I’ve ever been to has generally been used as an all ages facility.
It seems Sarah Goodman was wondering the same thing. She said of the sculpture, “It’s in the main walkway. Not a separate room. No plexiglass. Not protected. Not held down. There was no border around it. There wasn’t even a sign around it that said, ‘Do not touch.’”
But a spokesperson for City of Overland Park, Sean Reily, said that someone has got to foot the bill. “It was a piece that was loaned to us that we are responsible for. That’s public money. We are responsible to protect the public investment,” he said.
“There’s a societal responsibility that you may not interact with it if it’s not designed for interaction,” Reily added, but that seems like a tall order to explain to a small boy.
Perhaps what is most unfortunate about this whole incident is that other human beings showed more concern for the welfare of the sculpture than for the boy, who had the glass artwork fall on top of him.
“He’s honestly been having bad dreams every night,” Goodman explained. “None of these people have ever once said, ‘How is Troy? How is your son holding up? Is his face okay?’”
As far as paying for the sculpture, the Goodmans are waiting to see what the insurance company says and if lawyers get involved, but are unsure how they will pay for the damage. Regardless of what happens, it’s safe to say young Troy sadly won’t be growing up to be an art lover.