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MARTINIFEST AT MILWAUKEE ART MUSEUM

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As if gum-chewing 12-year-olds weren’t doing enough damage to art, the Milwaukee Art Museum saw several pieces damaged during an event called ‘Martinifest’. The event, sponsored by Clear Channel, offered guests unlimited martinis for their $30 admission fee. The resulting drunkenness caused party-goers to go wild.

The Milwaukee Sentinal Journal reports:

“It was crazy,” said attendee Kathleen Christians, 39. “People were shoving people over. People were getting sick, screaming, shouting, messing with the artwork.”

A group of four young men climbed onto “Standing Woman,” a tall, bronze sculpture of a goddess-like woman with exaggerated features by early 20th-century American artist Gaston Lachaise.

“They were standing on it, grabbing the boobs, and somebody was just taking pictures with a cell phone,” said Laura Collins, 35.

Asked whether artworks had been damaged or are in need of cleaning, the museum said two sculptures had been removed for “review” and more would be known in two weeks, after the senior conservator returns to the museum and has had a look.

It remains to be reported whether the artworks were seriously damaged, and what the cost of any repairs might be. Clear Channel carried insurance during the event, and museum officials expect that the insurance will pay for any damage. The future of ‘Martinifest’ is not in question however:

Clear Channel plans to stage another Martinifest in 2007 – in a larger location, Wolfe said.


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