‘Priceless artwork blunder’: 91-year-old accidentally fills out museum crossword

Caity Stone

An elderly woman has just taken ‘interactive art’ to the next level.

The confused 91-year-old patron has found herself in a spot of trouble with a German museum after ‘defacing’ a priceless piece of artwork that happened to be a crossword.

The elderly woman reportedly took it upon herself to fill in the blank spaces in the crossword with a ball-point pen, essentially ruining the artwork in the process.

The artwork labelled "Reading-work-piece," was created in 1965 by avant-garde artist Arthur Koepcke and was on display inside the museum.

Police said the woman is being investigated for damage to property. Source: Supplied.

It features the phrase "Insert Words" and was displayed at Nuremberg's Neues Museum.

Museum spokesperson, Eva Martin, on Thursday confirmed to local media that the woman had indeed filled in the blank spaces.

The elderly woman was visiting the museum on Wednesday with a group of senior citizens when the unfortunate incident occurred.

Martin said museum officials believe the work can hopefully be restored.


Museum chief Eva-Christina Kraus filed a criminal complaint, saying the case had to be reported for insurance reasons though there was no malicious intent.

Police said the woman is being investigated for damage to property.

"The lady told us she had taken the notes as an invitation to complete the crossword," a police spokesman told UK paper The Telegraph.

Nuremberg's Neues Museum where the incident occurred. Source: Supplied.

"We do realise that the old lady didn't mean any harm," Museum director Eva Krause told The Telegraph.

The Reading-Work-Piece is one of a series of artworks completed by Koepcke in the mid-1960s.

Ms Torp said Koepcke's works included picture puzzles, crosswords and perception psychology tests, painted in oil on canvas and featuring cuttings from newspapers and magazines.

Newsbreak - July 16