Munich Pinakothek employee fired for hanging his own painting in gallery

Munich Pinakothek employee fired for hanging his own painting in gallery

A member of staff at the Pinakothek der Moderne gallery in Munich has been fired for hanging his own painting in the museum in the hope of “achieving his breakthrough”. 

Aspiring painter illegally hangs work in Munich’s Pinakothek

If the intended breakthrough had come to pass, it could have been celebrated as a stroke of genius, but the reality proved less romantic and more litigious.

The Pinakothek museum in Bavaria has confirmed that it had fired a technician after he smuggled his own painting into the gallery, drilled some new holes in the wall of the eastern wing and hung it in the gallery’s modern and contemporary art section among Warhols, Beuyses and Klees.

According to the museum, the 51-year-old technician had hung his 60 x 120-centimetre painting on the morning of February 26, and the new edition to the gallery went unnoticed until after doors had opened the next day. Once other employees noticed the painting, it was agreed that it would remain in place until closing, granting the work eight hours of show time.

Gallery employee sees painting as his “true calling”

According to a report from Süddeutsche Zeitung, which cited a police report, the museum employee had taken the chance “in the hope of achieving his artistic breakthrough”. 

Speaking to The Guardian, a spokesperson from the Pinakothek said that the employee “considers himself as an artist and most likely saw his role in the museum’s installation team as a day job to support his true calling”. 

"All I can say is that we did not receive any positive feedback on the addition from visitors to the gallery,” the museum spokesperson told the broadsheet.

German police are now investigating the painter after the museum filed a criminal complaint for property damage related to the holes he drilled to hang the painting, the subject of which police have decided to keep secret so as not to “encourage copycat pranksters”. 

Thumb image credit: Salvador Maniquiz /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan



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