Gum, Art and Twelve year olds


According to WDET, the twelve year old boy who placed gum on a painting at the DIA had bragged on the way to the museum that he was going to put gum on something.

A museum security guard quickly noticed the gum and a conservator was able to remove it, but right now the paint (The Bay by Helen Frankenthaler) has a visible stain. Conservators are working to find a method for removing the stain.

All the news stories mention the boy has been suspended from school and disciplined by his parents but I have heard more than enough people say he is too young to understand what he did. To that I cry BS. At twelve, children know the difference between right and wrong and should most definitely understand the concept of respect. The children had also been repeatedly told that gum, food and drinks were not allowed in the gallery. Considering the boy bragged he’d do this, he obviously was aware of what he was doing.

5 Comments so far

  1. baliad (unregistered) on March 1st, 2006 @ 9:18 am

    while it’s possible that the kid didn’t understand the value of what he was defacing, he definitely knew that he was doing wrong and needs to be disciplined accordingly…

  2. Doug Geiger (unregistered) on March 1st, 2006 @ 11:05 am

    I agree Mgal, that *IS* BS, the kid knew better and should be punished. I think corporal punishment has gotten a bad wrap…

  3. max (unregistered) on March 1st, 2006 @ 11:11 am

    yes…he “should” be more severly punished but he won’t be. i’d love to be able to secretly follow him for the next few years and find out how many other “little” acts of vandalism he commits expecting to get away with them. i feel strong initial punishment deters future acts. many years ago i got busted for a DUI and have never done it again. i, unlike a lot of other people, learned from my mistake.

  4. TomK (unregistered) on March 2nd, 2006 @ 3:22 pm

    The most disturbing part of this is the fact that a museam would pay $1.5 million for this piece of garbage! Perhaps the boy was just making an artistic statement about water pollution? La Avante Gard!

  5. Alex (unregistered) on March 20th, 2006 @ 2:40 pm

    When my son started chewing gum he was given the rules. It stays in the mouth or goes in the garbage. He is now seven and when I told him about the boy in the museum he quoted that rule. He has been brought up to respect other peoples’ things. Wonder what the brat’s parents have taught him? I wouldn’t want him in my house.

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