Couple Accidentally Ruin $500,000 Modern Art Exhibit By Painting Over It

Saman Javed


Couple Accidentally Ruin $500,000 Modern Art Exhibit By Painting Over ItPexels/Warner Bros.

A couple in South Korea accidentally ruined a $500,000 artwork which they mistook for a piece of ‘participatory art’.

Earlier today, April 4, CCTV cameras at an art gallery in Seoul’s Lotte World Mall captured a couple splattering and rubbing paint on a piece of art.

The untitled artwork, which measures 240cm by 700cm, was painted by graffiti artist JonOne in 2016 in front of an audience in Seoul.

Whenever the art moves from exhibit to exhibit, paintbrushes and paint that were used to create it are also put on display next to it.

Upon seeing these, the couple said they thought the art was open to participation and decided to add their own touches, Reuters reports.

According to the exhibition staff, CCTV footage showed a man and woman splattering and rubbing paint on the artwork.

Police were called, and the couple were arrested however staff decided not to press charges because it was an honest mistake.

‘They thought they were allowed to do that as participatory art and made a mistake,’ Kang Wook, the head of the exhibition, told Reuters.

‘We are currently in discussions with the artist about whether to restore it,’ Wook added.

Following the incident, the exhibit’s organisers have now put up a wire fence around the painting, and added a sign saying ‘Do not touch’.

While this particular incident took place inside an art gallery and without intent, graffiti art is prone to vandalism from the public.


In March, a piece of art by street artist Banksy on the outside of a derelict prison in Reading was defaced with the name of his alleged rival.

The image depicts a prison escapee and had a typewriter at the bottom, but this was covered up with the words ‘Team Robbo’.

Robbo, a graffiti artist who died in 2014, had a long-running feud with Banksy after he painted over one of Robbo’s art pieces in Camden Town, London.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

Topics: Life, Arrest, Art, Banksy, CCTV, Graffiti, vandalism


  1. Reuters

    CCTV shows couple in Seoul daubing over $500,000 graffiti artwork

Saman Javed

Sorry, this content isn't available right now.

Chosen for YouChosen for You

Film & TV

James Cameron recreates iconic Titanic scene with stunt doubles to see if Jack would have survived

9 hours ago

Most Read StoriesMost Read

Die-hard Red Hot Chili Peppers fans vow to never see them perform again after their latest concert

16 hours ago