by Simon Brew
Watch parents of young children when visiting museums, and you'll see levels of paranoia at work that may seem a little excessive. Stay away from that, don't do this, don't go near that ... you've probably seen how it works.
However, that paranoia is for good reason. Take a tumble in a museum, and it's likely to be more than pride that takes a fall. Just ask the 12-year old boy who visited an exhibition in Taipei over the weekend.
As the following footage shows, the boy accidentally fell—there's no sign whatsoever that this was deliberate—and his fist went straight into a painting. Said painting was 350 years old, and valued at a cool $1.5 million.
The piece, a 17th-century oil painting by Paolo Porpora, is called Flowers, and it is privately owned. It had been on loan to "The Face Of Leonardo: Images Of A Genius" exhibition, along with 54 other works.
The damage to the painting was described as "permanent" by the organizers, although neither the boy nor his family will be asked to foot the restoration bill. The exhibition's insurance policy covers it.
That's one set of parents breathing a massive sigh of relief.