A critic accidentally destroyed an artwork worth $20,000 at Zona Maco art fair in Mexico on February 8. The Mexican art critic Avelina Lésper reportedly said that she accidentally shattered the contemporary piece when she placed an empty cold drink can near it to express her disdain towards the glass installation. Lésper later said in a video statement for Mexican media that 'it was like the work heard my comment and felt what I thought of it'. The work later shattered into pieces and fell on the floor.
The art critic later found out that the price of the broken artwork was $20,000 and the gallery displaying the fair has reportedly criticised Lésper's behaviour and called it 'unprofessional'.The OMR gallery said in a statement on Instagram that it was Lésper who 'caused the destruction' by coming 'too close' to the work and placed soda can to click a picture as criticism. Further, it added that critic's behaviour showed an 'enormous lack of professionalism and respect'.
Alfonso Miranda, director of the Soumaya art museum in Mexico has called the entire incident as 'tragedy'. The destroyed artwork was by Mexican artist Gabriel Rico who contrasts objects made by humans, such as tennis balls, along with the objects found in nature, such as feathers and rocks. The piece had shown a sheet of glass with a stone, a soccer ball, and other random objects suspended inside.
OMR has also said that Rico's work was highly sought by collectors and other art institutions at the moment. Lésper had also suggested an idea to the gallery to leave the artwork as broken which can depict its evolution, however, when the officials rejected it, she paid the price. The gallery has also said that it would get in touch with the artist before it announced the next steps with the artwork.