Danish museum settles dispute with 'Take the Money and Run' artist

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Danish museum settles dispute with 'Take the Money and Run' artist
The empty canvasses for Take the Money and Run, exhibited at the Kunsten art museum in Aalborg in 2021. Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

A museum in Denmark has settled its dispute with an artist after it was presented with blank canvases despite lending him over 70,000 euros ($76,000) in cash for the works, it said Wednesday.


In 2021, the Kunsten Museum of Modern Art in Aalborg in western Denmark agreed to lend a large sum of cash to Jens Haaning so that he could recreate one of his old artworks that depicted a year's salary in Denmark and Austria.

Haaning, 58, was due to exhibit nearly 72,000 euros worth of banknotes glued to two canvases but upon receiving the works, employees found they were blank and the artwork renamed "Take the Money and Run".

The museum's director Lasse Andersson, nevertheless, decided to present the two artworks as part of a temporary exhibition but took legal action against the artist who was ordered to reimburse the museum.

"The Obel Family Foundation has resolved the Gordian knot that neither Jens Haaning nor Kunsten have been able to untie since the 'Work it Out' exhibition in 2021, which included the 'Take the Money and Run' work," Andersson said in a statement.


He added: "Jan Haaning's 'Take the Money and Run' (2021) is protected for posterity as part of the Kunsten collection and can be shown to the public."

The artwork will now go on permanent display at the museum.


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