Art Critic Accused of Accidentally Shattering $20,000 Glass Sculpture with a Coke Can

Art Critic Accused of Accidentally Shattering $20,000 Glass Sculpture with a Coke Can

While a 2018 sculpture by Mexican artist Gabriel Rico incorporated random objects — such as a football, feather and tennis ball — placed inside a large glass pane, all it took was a soda can to bring it all shattering down.

Art critic Avelina Lésper was reportedly guiding a group of guests at the Zona Maco contemporary art fair in Mexico City on Saturday when she stopped by Rico’s installation, known as “Nimble and Sinister Tricks.”

While addressing the group, Lésper placed a can of Coca-Cola next to the piece, in an attempt to criticize it by showing the meaning of the art would be unchanged by including the can, NPR reported.

That’s when, to the shock of guests and Lésper, the glass sculpture broke into hundreds of pieces and came crashing to the ground.

“It was like the work heard my comment and felt what I thought of it,” Lésper told the newspaper, Milenio, according to CNN.

Perhaps even more surprising, Lésper seemed unfazed by the destruction of the piece, valued at $20,000.

According to NPR, she even believed she had made the installation better by destroying it.

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Galería OMR, the gallery where the piece was on display, expressed their frustration with Lésper in a response to NPR.

“[Her behavior] shows a great lack of respect and professionalism on the part of Ms. Lésper, who as a member of the art community should be a better example to visitors on the etiquette of attending an art event and the respect of art objects,” they told the outlet.

“Never should a visitor to an art event touch or make an intervention in a work of art, subjecting it to possible damage,” they added.

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“We do not understand how a supposed professional critic of art destroyed a work by one of the most outstanding artists of the moment,” they added in a statement to Facebook, according to CNN.

Lésper has reportedly offered to help pay for the sculpture’s repair. OMR, Rico and the art fair’s organizers are determining what to do next, W Magazine reported.

“I am sad because this was very disrespectful for the pieces,” Rico said of his installation’s destruction in a statement. “This is a regrettable situation.”

NPR reported that Lésper said, “This is not a tragedy. This is something that can be fixed.”

PEOPLE was not able to immediately reach Lésper, who did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.