The Art Of Theft: Italian Man Chainsaws Drawing Off Museum Wall
Hannah Steinkopf-Frank

BOLOGNA — The bearded young visitor to Bologna's Modern Art Museum was not framed for the crime. Instead, the would-be chainsaw art collector was simply following the directions of Aldo Giannotti, the Italian-Austrian artist whose work he carved out of the museum's wall with the help of the electric lumberjack tool.

Underneath the drawing on the wall of a chainsaw, Giannotti's text was clear: "This drawing can be taken for free by a collector who shows up with a chainsaw and cuts out a piece of wall." Like Banksy's self-triggered shredded painting, it was the kind of art stunts that plays with questions of control, place and authorship.

The exhibit entitled "Safe & Sound" at the Museo d'Arte Moderna was built around the theme of exploring "actions that are not allowed in everyday life," reported La Repubblica. Other directives in the exhibit include: "Lie down in the middle of the museum space and contemplate the ceiling."

In a video of the incident, the "collector" can be seen cutting a neat rectangle around the drawing of a chainsaw as onlookers filmed with their phones. Giannotti shared the scene on Instagram, writing, "In Bologna they used to cut murals from city walls to bring them inside museums. Yesterday we cut them out of museums to bring them out."

One question that neither artist or museum has answered is about security: who checked the anonymous collector — both when he entered and exited?

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