And finally… take the money and run

And finally... take the money and run

A Danish artist has been ordered by a Copenhagen court to return 492,549 kroner (around £58,000) to the Kunsten Museum in Aalborg after he delivered two blank canvases.

Originally, the museum commissioned artist Jens Haaning to embed banknotes into two pieces of art for a project titled “Take the Money and Run” as a commentary on salaries in Denmark and Austria.

Instead, he gave the institution two blank canvases and kept the funds, claiming that the artwork “is that I have taken their money”.

Although the museum initially demanded a full refund of 534,000 kroner (around £61,773), the court ruled that Mr Haaning could keep some amount to cover his artist’s fee and the cost of mounting the canvases.

Lasse Andersson, the museum’s director, admitted that he found humour in the blank canvases when he first saw them in 2021 and decided to display them anyway. He told the BBC: “He stirred up my curatorial staff and he also stirred me up a bit, but I also had a laugh because it was really humouristic.”

Mr Haaning insists that despite the legal tussle, the publicity generated from the scandal has been financially beneficial for the museum. He stated that he doesn’t plan on appealing the case, acknowledging, “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”.

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