Gwangju Biennale to Pay for Damage to Sculptures

The Seoul Central District Court on Sunday ruled in partial favor of Germany's Michael Werner Gallery against the Gwangju Biennale Foundation for damaging a sculpture the gallery had loaned for the 2010 show.

The court ruled that the foundation must pay the gallery US$94,500 in compensation.

The Gwangju Biennale borrowed three onyx sculptures by the late American artist James Lee Byars from the gallery in 2010. One sculpture was chipped during deinstallation, and all three were damaged in transit back to Germany.

The Michael Werner Gallery argues that restoration is impossible without leaving marks and that the three slabs were chosen for their integrity.

The court ruled the Gwangju Biennale Foundation should have been familiar with the characteristics of the works and done everything possible to prevent damage. But it also found that the gallery did not make any effort to inform the foundation how best to prevent damage, and held the foundation responsible for 70 percent of the damage.

englishnews@chosun.com / Dec. 30, 2013 11:32 KST