During a photo shoot, photographers working with Art+Auction magazine picked up an irreplaceable 2600-year-old terra cotta statue from Nigeria's Nok culture so they could move it into a better line for a shot. Yada yada yada ... they're now being sued for negligence. (Via Dr. Rubidium)

34 Responses to “Butterfingers may cost magazine photographer $300,000”

    • nox says:

      So you know something about ancient subsaharan art?

      You don’t own something like that without having it appraised and insured, but I guess the policy didn’t cover accidental dropping. Odd really, I’d expect someone with 300K statues to have maids who might knock things over.

  1. Stumblore says:

    And here I go thinking a photoshop error would have been cheaper

  2. esme says:

    If I had an irreplaceable, fragile artifact and was letting someone photograph it, I would insist that I was the only one allowed to touch it.  Just saying…

  3. doggo says:

    Whoops. You would hope someone who’s photographing rare and expensive items, and who needs to move them, is carrying some sort of insurance.

    Also, the owner of said rare and expensive items…

  4. Erik Hess says:

    This is a big reason most high-end clients will require photographers to have liability insurance (among other types of insurance) before booking them for a shoot.

    Note to photographers: Always be insured, especially if you’re working with priceless artefacts!

    • jacklaughing says:

      This was my first thought, especially if he’s a contract photographer. If he’s staff, his employer has a responsibility to insure against this. But isn’t the owner insured? Surely someone who owns items of this value in their private home has insurance of their own, otherwise they’re one natural disaster away from a lot of disappointment.

  5. inkfumes says:

    Just sweep it under the rug.

  6. Layne says:

    Now it’s modern art…

    Honestly, $300K sounds pretty cheap with the price of artworks lately. That’d buy, what…1/2 a Banksy? 

    • Kimmo says:

      Yeah, either $300k is a travesty of an undervaluation (which is my feeling) and/or millions for stuff from living peeps is ridiculously overvalued (which is also my feeling).

  7. expensive candybar. (my thoughts just from reading the title)

    • Recluse says:

      LOL!  I had the same thought. I was guessing that during a photo shoot a Butterfinger bar was caught somewhere in the frame and Nestle was suing the guy 300,000 for copyright infringement a la Louis Vuitton.

      “You just dropped a 2600 year old artifact!!!”
      “What a relief, I’m glad it wasn’t NEW”

      • Will Bueche says:

        Same here! We’ve been trained to think that the most valuable things in the world are music files, followed by other copyrights. Antiques pale in comparison to the value of an mp3 or a candy wrapper.

  8. TruthByTrial says:

    Does anyone else feel that the oldest know figurine statue from over 2,600 years ago should not be in a private collector’s living room?   Indiana Jones was right, “It belongs in a museum!”

  9. Christopher says:

    I do feel a little bit of sympathy for the photographer, but probably only because a friend of mine once dropped a piece of Chihuly glass while moving it to an exhibit. Although she was lucky–it was only a small piece, and only worth  $5000.

    • bklynchris says:

      Given that probably all Chihuly did to create the piece in question was to knock it off the blow pipe, she should not feel that bad.

  10. NelC says:

    Clearly it can’t be restored to its former glory, but I challenge the owner’s assertion that it can’t be re-assembled at all. Museum curators are quite adept at that kind of thing and do it all the time. A lot of ancient stuff gets mangled by time and has to be painstakingly glued back together.

  11. “Terracotta shattered and the walls came tumbling down”

  12. I believe this is the wife of the famous* artist, Arman.

    * I had never heard of him, but the art world is not my thing.

  13. Franklin says:

    can’t believe it got NOKed over.

  14. Max Meyer says:

    As a fine art photographer, this sounds like a million nightmares to me.

    I regularly handle work that is worth at least that much, but fortunately, is much more durable (paintings on canvas & board from the last ~150 years), and am very, very insured, should the worst happen.

  15. Tribune says:

    I wonder if this in instigated by one insurer to have another insurer pay. Or were both parties really stupid enough not to be insured.

  16. Ito Kagehisa says:

     In 2000, a beer company filming a commercial in Machu Picchu broke the hitching post of the sun.  Since the bloody Catholics had already destroyed all the spares, the Intihuatan at Machu Picchu was the last one left.  This is probably the actual cause of global warming, you know, the whole Earth is wobbling all around now.

  17. Narmitaj says:

    Shades of Armstrong & Miller, with Ben Miller as a hapless telly art historian.

  18. dculberson says:

    Shades of this sad incident:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnsizkVjGm8

  19. Sparg says:

    Another fine example pointing out the transitory nature of our physical reality.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwMgZQbIvFU

  20. bklynchris says:

    I wonder how long it took to fall? Made me think of this article re-the mental plasticity of time as theorized by the way too sexy neurobiologist Eagleman, where he comments on a letter from a former curator at a museum who had accidentally knocked over a Ming vase. “He said the thing took fucking forever to fall.”

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/04/25/110425fa_fact_bilger#ixzz1tCGS8yzj

  21. eaze2009 says:

    If he was a photographer and his managers knew he was doing something this expensive …
    Didn’t they insure him ? They were supposed to do that .

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