Top 10 Priceless Artworks That Were Unintentionally Destroyed

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6. Freudian Slip

Freudian Slip

You’d think of all the people you could trust with valuable art, a powerhouse like Sotheby’s would be high on the list. Perhaps not when you find out that they literally threw out and crushed a Lucian Freud painting in a box worth $157,000 (the painting, not the box).


7. Lowry-Intolerant Milkman

Lowry-Intolerant Milkman

Milkman Ben Timperley was probably hoping for cash tips rather than the scribbles of an ‘artist’ he didn’t really rate. Take a moment to empathise when that milkman noticed a similar looking style print in his dentist’s and discovered the sketches he’d dismissed and chucked out were Lowrys. And worth a small fortune.


8. Builders Bash Banksy

Builders Bash Banksy

There are many imitations of Banksy on street walls worldwide. The one in Melbourne that happened to get in the way of some pipes for a cafe was the real deal. It was the third work by the artist ruined within 2 years. The Parachuting Rat had been there for a decade before builders put pipes through it.



9. Cave Clean-Up Catastrophe
Cave Clean-Up Catastrophe

In 1992 some well meaning kids and their youth group workers took it upon themselves to clear up some local graffiti in France. To be precise, in Montauban, where the famous paleolithic cave paintings are? Yes, you’ve guessed it, they cleaned up ancient cave paintings. There’s not really a lot you can say to that. Kids do try.


10. Avid Cleaner

Avid Cleaner

Clean-Up jobs and art don’t really mix very well, as a conscientious but misguided janitor in Germany discovered in 2010. She worked hard to remove a stain from a plastic bowl in an exhibit. The water stain, however, was a deliberate part of the work, titled, “When It Starts Dripping From The Ceiling” and was meant to show viewers the interesting discoloration over time. The work was worth $1m.

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