Child Damages Glass Sculpture, Parents Delivered Big Bill

Glass Sculpture Destroyed by Unattended Child

(updated July 12, 2018)

Parents Beware: you are responsible for watching your children, to keep both them and artwork safe

Okay, this warning should go without saying…but clearly, it must be said.

Rather than taking responsibility for their lack of resposibility (hey, at least they are consistent), the parents of a child who “hugged” a glass sculpture, which fell and was destroyed beyond repair, are blaming the venue. They claim while their child damages sculpture, the piece was adequately protected:

“It’s in the main walkway,” Goodman said in referring to the statue. “Not a separate room. No plexiglass. Not protected. Not held down . . . There was no border around it. There wasn’t even a sign around it that said, ‘Do not touch.'”

Seriously? Why would anyone think it is okay to touch things that don’t belong to them, and why aren’t you watching your kids. You don’t know the environment, you are not in your own home. This all happened at the Tomahawk Ridge Community Center in Overland Park, Kansas. The reaction of the mother, upon hearing a “commotion” was to wonder who was yelling at her kid! Again, seriously? Not, oh, is my kid okay, what is going on, where is my kid…

As you can see in the video, the glass sculpture was near a wall, and the adults are seated on couches, not being attentive.

The boy’s mother claims she was saying goodbye to the bride’s father, claimed that he is ‘always well behaved’…however the security footage shows Mom seated on a couch talking to another woman.

Child Damages Sculpture Giving it a “Hug” According to Mom

child damages sculpture in Overland Park_

“He probably hugged it,” the boy’s mother Sarah Goodman told the paper. “Maybe my son hugged a torso because he’s a loving, sweet nice boy who just graduated from preschool.”

Hmmm. A child damages sculpture because he was giving it a hug? Too bad the preschool he just graduated from didn’t teach the boy it isn’t okay to go around hugging things that aren’t yours without getting permission. Too bad, the parents weren’t watching more closely. Too bad some people don’t seem to respect the property of others and expect that anything that is not walled off is okay to manhandle.

The glass mosaic sculpture took artist Bill Lyons two years to create. The sculpture, Aphrodite Di Kansas City, was on loan to the city and was valued at $132,000. The City of Overland Park has since sent the parents a bill in that amount.

The parents believe the price of they are being billed is ‘astronomical’, and that they were distracted, but not negligent. They reportedly are contacting their homeowner’s insurance to see if they will cover the bill.

Understandably the artist wants to be compensated. The City has contacted their insurance company who will, no doubt, be duking it out with the parents’ insurer.

UPDATE: According to a new report in the Kansas City Star, the City was reimbursed $107,000 by the family’s insurance carrier. The artist was then cut a check for $99,000, the amount he would have received if the glass sculpture had been sold while in the City’s care.

Also, in response to some criticism that the sculpture was not adequately protected, according to the artist the piece was clipped into the pedestal base. In order for the sculpture to be removed from the base it actually had to be lifted up in order to unclip it.

Sadly, this is not the first time we have reported that a child damages sculpture. Another glass sculpture was broken in China, in that case the artist was able to repurpose the piece giving it a new title “Broken.” And a Lego sculpture valued at $15,000 was destroyed by another child. And, we will point out, both of those pieces were behind ropes, and with in the case of the glass sculpture, the attending adults actually stood there and watched as the child damaged the work.


Read more about the incident on the Kansas City Star

New report available at the Kansas City Star

And the news crossed the US and reached the UK, in this article in the Daily Mail