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January 30, 2006

Archaelogical treasures destroyed by klutz

A British museum-goer tripped and smashed not one but two Qing vases:

Historic vases smashed in stumble

The 300-year-old Qing vases were among the best known artefacts at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge.

The visitor is said to have slipped on a loose shoelace and fallen down a staircase bringing the vases crashing down as he tried to steady himself.

The vases, donated in 1948, were said to hold a "significant value" and were among the best known pieces on display.

The museum declined to identify the man who had tripped.

The accident happened last Wednesday and the museum said it was a most unfortunate and regrettable accident.

Margaret Greeves, the museum's assistant director, said: "They are in very, very small pieces, but we are determined to put them back together."[BBC]

Poor guy. He'd better hope the Fitzwilliam Museum doesn't have a "Pottery Barn" policy.


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I'm surprised he was able to cause the damage. However, I also have never tried to tip one of those pedestal/plexiglass box combos...

As a fellow klutz, I am inclined to go easy on the poor guy. As a museum goer, I am not a happy bunny. I suspect, arwen, that the vases are indeed not behind the plexiglass box. They do that sometimes in some museums, which really makes you feel close to the piece psychologically, but of course, makes them more vulnerable.

It could be a nefarious plot, a la "Goldfinger". The owner of an extensive Qing vase collection notices the precarious placement of the vases in the museum and hires a professional hit-clutz to destroy them. His own collection increases in value due to its increased rarity.

On other news, stores in Cambridge sold out on Crazy Glues and duck tapes.

Reminds me of Steve Martin's tragic appearance on Letterman lo those many years ago. In retrospect, showing off his Ming vases and his tennis ball launcher at the same time was regrettable.

The poor guy will never live it down. Small Qing vases have sold for more than $5 million each. But these look too lopsided to be that kind of quality. Still ... poor guy.

The poor guy will never live it down. Small Qing vases have sold for more than $5 million each. But these look too lopsided to be that kind of quality. Still ... poor guy.

Posted by: Gary Sugar | January 30, 2006 at 02:40 PM

what are ya talking about. The surveilence video right alone will pay for a half dozen of those vases. As far as I am concern this guy hit a jackpot and should milk it for all its worth. worldwide licencing, product placements, the whole nin yard!...

this guy should be the spokes person for insurance company.

(yeah, okay, maybe not... but still. I bet the museum has pretty good insurance)

I totally feel for that guy. I just keep thinking "There but for the grace of god trip I." My family fully expects to read an article like that about me someday.

But isn't it the case that, contra-Colin Powell, *Pottery Barn* doesn't have the so-called "Pottery Barn policy" (you break it, you buy it)? I remember shortly after the Pottery Barn spokesperson clarified that there was no strick you-break/you-buy policy, some comedian of other talked about wanting to go to PB to break stuff for fun ...

Dr. F, yes, it's true. The actual PB doesn't have a Pottery Barn Policy.

"Mom's favorite vase... Mom's favorite vase... Mom's favorite vase..."

(Brady Bunch)

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