Latin America & Caribbean

Avelina Lésper: Critic apologises for shattering artwork at Mexico fair

The remains of an artwork that was shattered at OMR Gallery in Mexico City Image copyright OMR Gallery @galeriaomr
Image caption Mexican art critic Avelina Lésper has apologised for the "lamentable incident"

An art critic has apologised for accidentally destroying an installation at a prestigious art fair in Mexico.

Avelina Lésper placed an empty drinks can near the work to show her disapproval when it shattered.

The installation, by Mexican artist Gabriel Rico, was on display at the OMR Gallery in Mexico City.

The work consisted of a large pane of glass with random objects such as a football and a feather inside and is worth an estimated $20,000 (£15,400).

Image copyright OMR
Image caption Gabriel Rico's artwork has been displayed at exhibitions around the world

Ms Lésper has said sorry for the "lamentable incident" at the Zona Maco fair on Saturday, which she insisted "wasn't intentional".

"It was like the work had heard my comment and had felt what I thought of it", she said in a video statement shared by Milenio, a Mexican newspaper that publishes her columns.

The artist Gabriel Rico told BBC News, "I am sad because this was very disrespectful for the pieces. This is a regrettable situation."

In a statement posted to Instagram, the gallery said the destruction of the artwork appeared to be an accident, but criticised Ms Lésper's behaviour as unprofessional.

"Lésper coming too close to the work to place a soda can on it and take a picture as criticism without a doubt caused the destruction," the gallery said.

"We do not understand how an alleged professional art critic destroyed a work by one of the most outstanding artists of the moment."

But Ecuadorean painter Pavel Égüez, who witnessed the incident, defended Ms Lésper, saying she did not touch the artwork.

It is not clear if the gallery intends to ask Ms Lésper to pay for the broken artwork. OMR Gallery said it will decide "what is appropriate" after talks with the artist and the fair.

Ms Lésper says she offered to repair the artwork, titled Nimble and Sinister Tricks (To Be Preserved Without Scandal and Corruption).

OMR Gallery said Mr Rico's work was highly sought-after by collectors and institutions.

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