In 2021, the Danish Museum commissioned the artist Jens Haaning to recreate one of his past works. He collected the money, returned the blank canvases to the museum, and titled the creation Take the Money and Run. The court has now ordered him to return the money.
The Kunsten Museum of Modern Art in Aalborg expected to recreate the artwork Find yourselfby a renowned Danish artist Jens Haaning created a decade ago. At that time, he glued banknotes worth the average annual salary in Denmark and Austria to two canvases, and with the creation he pointed to the complex relationship between art and work.
“The thing is, I took their money“When the museum commissioned it two years ago, it expected to recreate this work of art, but all it got back were two blank canvases and the artist’s announcement that it was a new work of conceptual art, which he aptly titled Take the money and run. Indeed, Haaning kept about 500,000 Danish kroner (around 67,000 euros), which the museum transferred to him in advance, in order to, among other things, incorporate them into his new artwork. “The thing is, I took their money,” he justified his move.
After a long legal battle in which the museum tried to get the money back, a court in Copenhagen has now ordered Haaning, 58, to repay the museum 492,549 kroner. This figure corresponds to the sum transferred to him by the museum, minus the artist’s fee and installation costs, he writes BBC.
Exasperated curators and a slightly upset but smiling directorMuseum director Lasse Andersson said he laughed out loud when he saw the blank canvases for the first time in 2021 and decided to take the pieces out anyway. “It upset my curators and it upset me a bit, but I also laughed because it was really funny,” he told the BBC show in 2021 Newsday.
After the verdict was announced, Haaning told the Danish media DR that he did not intend to appeal the court’s decision. “This has been good for my work, but it also puts me in an uncontrollable situation where I don’t really know what to do,” he said. For TV2 Nord but he said that the museum made money because of the publicity that came with the affair”much, much more” of money as he invested.