Take the Money and Run, A Danish museum worst nightmare

Kunsten Museum
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“The work is that I have taken their money,”  says Mr Jens Haaning

Kunsten Museum in the city of Aalborg in Denmark commissioned Jens Haaning, a Danish artist to reproduce two of his art pieces representing the yearly salary in Denmark and Austria. He was paid 534,000 kroner in cash by the museum to recreate the artworks using banknotes.

But the artist took the bag and produced blank canvasses titled “Take the Money and Run”.

The director of the museum Mr Lasse Andersson had this to say after realising what had happened:

“He stirred up my curatorial staff and he also stirred me up a bit, but I also had a laugh because it was really humoristic,”

“It’s the museum’s money and we have a contract saying that the money will be back on 16 January,” he said.

On the other hand Mr Jens Haaning, has doubled down on his stunt, stating he is going to keep the money.

He told a Danish online news outlet saying:

“The work is that I have taken their money,”

“I encourage other people who have just as miserable working conditions as me to do the same,” he said, adding that recreating his past works would have put him 25,000 kroner out of pocket.

Refuting his claim, Kunsten museum director stated that Mr Haaning’s claim that the museum had not agreed to pay him fairly was false. In his comment he stated that:

“We just signed up for an agreement with the Danish artists association that raises what artists are paid when they are exhibiting,” he said.

“I think Jens has kind of broken the bargain.”

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