Danish artist ordered to return museum cash he took as 'art'


The Kunsten Museum in Denmark loaned Jens Haaning a total of US$84,000 in cash to recreate old artworks of his using the banknotes, but the boxes he sent only contained blank canvasses and a new title: 'Take the Money And Run'. Photo: AFP

A Danish court on Monday ordered an artist to refund a museum which gave him 70,000 euros (RM351,000) in cash to incorporate into artworks and he delivered blank canvasses entitled Take the Money And Run.

Jens Haaning was commissioned by the Kunsten Museum in the western city of Aalborg to reproduce two works using the cash - Danish kroner and euros - to represent the annual salary in Denmark and Austria.

A Copenhagen court on Monday ordered Haaning, 58, to refund the museum 492,549 kroner (66,000 euros, $70,480), equivalent to the sum the museum had given him minus the artist's fee and the mounting cost.

Museum director Lasse Andersson previously told AFP that he laughed out loud when he first saw the two blank canvasses in 2021, and decided to show the works anyway.

He said they have a "humoristic approach" and were "a reflection on how we value work".

But he said the museum would take Haaning to court if he didn't pay back the money, which he refused to do.

Interviewed on TV2 Nord television on Monday, Haaning said the museum had made "much, much more" money than what it invested thanks to the publicity surrounding the affair. - AFP

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