The Danish artist who took money from the museum to do nothing will have to pay it back

His surreal story ended up in the main international newspapers. The Danish conceptual artist Jens Haaning had managed to deceive the Kunsten modern art museum in Aalborg, stealing the 532 thousand crowns in cash (about 72 thousand euros) that he should have used to create a previously commissioned installation. In fact, in the autumn of 2021, the museum only received two blank canvases, with Haaning’s absurd justification that the work of art was represented by his own escape with the money, renamed “Take the money and run “.

The artist must still receive compensation for his work

Now the man has been sentenced by a court to fully compensate the museum for the sum of money embezzled, in addition to legal costs amounting to just over 10 thousand euros. “I’m shocked,” a surprisingly incredulous Haaning simply commented to the Danish media: “However,” he added, “exactly what I imagined might happen happened.” The court, however, specified that Haaning must be paid the regular compensation for his work, given that his canvases, although immaculate, had been regularly exhibited at the Alalborg museum. At the time of the events, in 2021, Lasse Andersson, director of the Kunsten Museum, told the press: “We are not a rich museum. We need to think carefully about how we spend our funds and not spend more than we can afford.” Haaning, without getting too upset, replied: “The job is that I took their money. It’s not theft. It’s a breach of contract and breach of contract is part of the job.”