Parents Hit With $177,000 Bill After Kid Knocks Over Sculpture

Kids will be kids, right?

Not when it comes to expensive sculptures it seems, at least in the U S of A (oh America, never change… actually, scratch that.)

A Kansas family has copped a whopping $177,000 fine after their child damaged a pricey sculpture on display at a community centre.

The “Aphrodite di Kansas City’ sculpture which, frankly, is kind of creepy (why is her head so small? Where are her eyes? Maybe I just don’t ‘get’ art?) was spending time laying some culture on visitors to the Overland Park Community Centre in Kansas City.

Expensive Statue
Kansas City Artists Coalition

Emotions run high

The Goodman family were attending a family wedding reception at the centre, but got more than just cake and favours on their way out. Surveillance footage shows their five-year-old going in for a squeeze with the statue (clearly not concerned by the creepy small head shape/no eyes) and accidentally knocking Aphrodite off her perch.

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

We get it, weddings are rife with emotion. He’s not the first person to hug someone entirely inappropriate. Then again, most of us don’t end up with a bill three times the average yearly salary. Check out the squeeze that launched a terse legal letter in the video below.

Sarah told the Kansas City Star that the statue disaster happened over a month ago, but a letter arrived in the mail this week seeking damages. The artwork is reportedly valued at $US132,000 ($177,000)

Say whaaaaat? They are some pricey glass and metal pieces. But this one’s just a bit too step for the Goodmans.

“It’s clear accidents happen and this was an accident. I don’t want to diminish the value of their art. But I can’t pay for that,” Sarah says.

Expensive Statue

Kids vs. art

The insurance company claims the parents didn’t appropriately monitor their child. “This loss occurred when your son was in a closed area of the property and toppled a glass sculpture. Under common law in Kansas you are responsible for the supervision of a minor child and your failure to monitor them during this loss could be considered negligent,” the letter states.

But Sarah isn’t having it. “Our kids were well-supervised and well-behaved. We were just standing down the hallway following the bride and groom out,” she says. “No one would ever expect to come into a place that kids are invited and have to worry about a $US132,000 piece of art falling on their child.” Word.

Who foots the bill?

Who should foot the bill for the sculpture, on loan to the city, is the 64 million dollar question. Police, who were called to the centre, say the kid appeared to either climb or grab onto the statue, causing it to topple forward and shatter. But they say it’s a civil matter for the involved parties to work out.

Bill Lyon, the artist who spent two years creating the piece, wouldn’t comment on who should be responsible for the damage, but wants compensation.

The matter will now come down to the insurance companies who will duel it out over ownership and responsibility. Moral of the story? Keep yo’ emotions (and kids) under control around expensive artworks (but you knew that anyway, right?

Want to check out some more kids getting up to mischief? Check out our 25 hilarious photos of little ones running amuck.

Avatar of Naomi Foxall

Naomi is 3/4 latte drinking, peanut butter obsessed former magazine girl who now does stuff with words for a living while juggling 2.5 kids, 2 cats, 1 rabbit, husband and an unhealthy obsession with slow cooking.

1 Comment

  1. Avatar of Vanessa

    Geez! I wouldn’t be paying either. Look at the size and weight of that at a community centre. Surely that falls under health and safety hazard. If I was this Mum I’d be counter suing for damages to my child. How terrified he must have been when that fell

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