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Pupil defaces artwork during school field trip

TT/The Local · 14 Oct 2010, 07:55

Published: 14 Oct 2010 07:55 GMT+02:00

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The museum is now analysing the damage to the painting "Portrait of Una" by the Russian artist Kazimir Malevich, before deciding whether to contact the police.

"It is very regrettable. I don't want to speculate on what will happen before we make our assessment," Gabriel Gunnarsson at the museum press office told the newspaper.

The class, from Igelstaviken High School visited the museum on October 7th. The museum subsequently discovered that a line had been drawn on the painting.

The museum is unable to specify what the Malevich is worth, as it is part of the permanent collection and has thus not been valued for sale.

Story continues below…

The school's principal has been in contact with the pupil's parents in connection with the incident, and is awaiting the result of Moderna's assessment of the damage, Länstidningen Södertälje reported.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

08:58 October 14, 2010 by byke
While it a serious situation, can a child be held accountable for their actions?

Can the parents be held accountable for their child's action while under the care and supervision of the school and museum?

Personally it sounds to me that the school and museum are at fault for not supplying adequate staff to look after the children.
09:01 October 14, 2010 by autismdiva
@byke: I agree. Teachers and staff were probably taking a 'fika' in the cafe...
09:10 October 14, 2010 by RobinHood
Malevitj had thirteen little brothers and sisters. I'm sure he would have seen the joke.
09:32 October 14, 2010 by salalah
agree with you all
09:45 October 14, 2010 by just a question
teachers probably were just right there. But who can stop a "child"? They will sue the teacher instead
09:47 October 14, 2010 by EtoileBrilliant
Hang on there, we're not talking about a dagis visit but children from a high school. There comes a time in life when one must own up to one's responsibilities. This, surely, is such a time.
09:50 October 14, 2010 by red.king
The kid knew exactly what he was doing and no doubt thought it was funny. I agree that had sufficient supervision been present the defacement would not have happened, however is it really unreasonable to presume that an adolescent cannot be held acountable for his actions??
09:56 October 14, 2010 by unt9
Just remove the line. Done.
10:07 October 14, 2010 by Nemesis
Why is there not criminal charges being brought for vandalism?
10:08 October 14, 2010 by SarahRF
If a child can give consent for sex at age 15, they're old enough to take responsibility for their actions. A person does not automatically learn this when they turn 18, it's something you learn while you grow up. I say hold the kid responsible. Is it just me, or is it common sense that you don't draw on art hanging in a museum? He knew what he was doing, supervised or not. And really, should high school students need constant supervision like dagis kiddies? If they're not able to go to places without constant supervision and hand holding, then maybe they shouldn't go out. Then we won't have treasured items being defaced to impress friends.
10:13 October 14, 2010 by spidernik84
Well said Sarah, well said! Nothing to add, really.
10:20 October 14, 2010 by bolababu
Swedish teens, ..spoiled rotten, even if they were supervised, i would not be surprised if he still did it, we have heard stories of how they frustrate their teachers so much that some become suicidal or just quit their jobs.

Sweden needs to give parents a little more control over their kids, God help them if they ask me to pay for havoc wreaked by my child when the law also says i have almost no rights or options to put him straight.
10:20 October 14, 2010 by dobermann
While it a serious situation, can a child be held accountable for their actions?

Can the parents be held accountable for their child's action while under the care and supervision of the school and museum?

Personally it sounds to me that the school and museum are at fault for not supplying adequate staff to look after the children.

You know what? I am already tired of people like you.. There is always someone guilty except children. When 12 years kid kills someone, then he or she is too young to take responsibility, when 14 years boys rape some girl, they are too young to take responsibility..When 15 years old boys attack older guy and beat a s..it out of him, they are too young to take responsibility..

Come on and wake up.

When I was about 7, I was stealing strawberries from other people garden and even then I knew that it was wrong.. When I was throwing stones to the windows, I knew what I was doing..And when I was caught I had to take full responsibility.

Children must take full responsibility for their actions. I think Swedish parents already know too good what it means, when children know their right, but don't know and don't do their duties.
10:22 October 14, 2010 by bolababu
Spare the rod, spoil the child.
10:37 October 14, 2010 by hrillo666
Once you're over 16 you are responsible for your own actions in this country, supposedly. so I don't see what the problem is, except perhaps that we don't have torture as a punishment. Sentencing a few of the troublemakers to 2 years of electrocution should send a clear signal.
11:48 October 14, 2010 by martijn?
the problem isnt children drawing on malevich paintings, it's the stuck-up adults who say it's a bad thing. what if the child wants to become an artist? he will be brought up with all these stupid ideas about what you are not to be allowed to do as an artist. he might end up becoming as boring an artist as malevich. just imagine...
11:49 October 14, 2010 by Åskar

He is not a child. He is a young adult and should know better. Let him pay through his nose!
11:56 October 14, 2010 by farnoxo
It was a high school visit - this child knew that what they were doing was wrong - hence they have to face up to the consequences.
12:04 October 14, 2010 by foxpur
I can see the student working up to paining glasses and mustache on the Mona Lisa
12:12 October 14, 2010 by sendia
@ martijn

If the kid wants to be an artist let him do whatever with his own work, I am against teaching him/her what should be done and what not with his/her art work but he/she should have the basic sense to respect somebody else's property and work.

What about giving value for the interpretation of the original artist?

Well said sarah, I agree with you
12:36 October 14, 2010 by BillyB
I was raised to respect other peoples property and that things like vandalism and defacing items you have no right to are unacceptable, so clearly this person was poorly raised.

Therefore the fault lies entirely with their parents for not raising their child correctly and so they should bear the full responsibility of the cost to fix the damage.

Being a parent comes with responsibilities, if you decide to ignore those you need to be held accountable.
12:54 October 14, 2010 by SarahRF
But if mommy and daddy take the brunt of baby's actions, then baby never learns to take responsibility himself. It's not considered mommy and daddy's fault when baby gets herpes or chlamydia, or if baby gets bad grades and/or doesn't go to classes like they should, so why should baby be exempt from this responsibility? Baby did it, thus baby pays for it.

Also, when does common sense come into play? If this kid had an item that someone else broke or vandalized in some way, they'd be pissed off and want compensation/revenge. The item wasn't that person's to destroy or vandalize. This kid didn't own the painting, thus it wasn't his to destroy and vandalize. Thus he should give compensation.
13:00 October 14, 2010 by just a question
If the teacher dare to correct that "child", next day we will have an angry father/mather in the school yelling at the teachers because they have traumatized his/her "child". So the teacher will be fired.
15:33 October 14, 2010 by pantheratigris
Södertälje? Uhm, wait a sec, that name sounds familiar for some reason...
16:14 October 14, 2010 by spo10
it's the teachers responsibility to look after their students. it wasn't the kid's fault at all. and please, if you want to involve the police - make sure they take with them the RIGHT person...not the child! geez...
19:00 October 14, 2010 by banuazizi
Come on it's "Modern Art", it doesn't get ruined by an extra line, it's probably a painting of a few hundred lines and splashes anyways :P
19:08 October 14, 2010 by Douglas Garner
spo10... you have got to be kidding! I would like to see YOU be responsible for the simultaneous actions of 20 or so teenagers! Obviously, you have never been a parent, or teacher, or your are one of these parents who want the SYSTEM to be responsible for raising your children!!!
19:59 October 14, 2010 by markusd
@spo10, "it wasn't the kid's fault at all."

Hmmm. You wouldn't happen to be the little punk that did this, would you?
00:50 October 15, 2010 by Da Goat
It is simple to fix this problem the museum staff just need to go to the toe rags house and tag all his stuff with spray paint!

and if anyone ojects then they get tagged too
00:54 October 15, 2010 by jazzIIIlove

most probably one of the best comments I have ever read, direct, precise and frank.
05:19 October 15, 2010 by Carnitas
Södertälje, huh? Why is anyone surprised at this? It actually used to be a beautiful, proud city. Does anyone know what has changed?
13:42 October 15, 2010 by ngecenk
here we go again... really carnitas?!?
14:00 October 15, 2010 by thesaint
I don't think it's fair to expect people who were themselves raised almost feral, to understand a parent's duty to instill a sense of right & wrong.

This problem didn't start yesterday, people!
14:49 October 16, 2010 by voyagör
is this a joke ? do you really hold accountable the teacher and museum staff for this action ? We are not talking about a five year old kid, this is a teenager who knows exactly what he is doing !

Now, there is obviously a big lack of education/authority - sense of duty coming from the family, because it all stems from there in the begining, but please the kid is RESPONSIBLE for his actions !!! i can't beleive what i am reading !

It's not a matter of coming from Södertälje and being an immigrants kid, it's the matter of nobody ever telling the kid how to behave in society...Teachers cannot take on parent's job of educating a kid. Parents should be interviewed in this matter and damage should be paid by them, they might in turn be tougher on their kids education...
17:04 October 18, 2010 by spo10
@Douglas Garner: i ASSUMED these kids to be younger than 10 years old. totally careless and reckless. and please, spare me your holier-than-thou attitude! if the teachers did their jobs then it wouldn't have happened. if they told the students before-hand the consequences of doing things the bad way then it wouldn't have happened or maybe if they have already identified the unruly kids beforehand and looked after them carefully then of course it wouldn't have happened. did you read the article? if it says there that the students were over 15 years old then i would've reacted otherwise. and i'm a better parent than you could even be!
17:06 October 18, 2010 by spo10
@markusd: if it were me then i wouldn't be writing here now would i?
17:41 October 18, 2010 by SarahRF
It says the kid was in high school, that puts him between 15 and 18 years old. I know of no country where high school students are 10 and under
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