A Danish artist who was given a pile of cash by a museum in northern Denmark to create a piece for its exhibition on labor conditions two years ago submitted two empty canvases — titled “Take the Money and Run.”
The museum had commissioned Haaning in 2021 to recreate two of his earlier pieces featuring bank notes attached to canvases representing the average annual wage in Denmark and Austria.
The museum provided about 532,000 krone (£61,500) from its reserves to recreate artworks as well as an artist’s fee of about 40,000 krone.
The court said that the contract between the museum and Haaning had stated that the cash — the banknotes given to Haaning — would be available during the temporary display of the works, and that it was to be returned afterward.
When Haaning refused to return the cash after the exhibition ended, the museum took legal action. Haaning has denied having committed a crime and insists he did produce a work of art.