Museum ban ok'd for man who wanted to pee on paintings

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Judges do not take it lightly when people threaten to urinate on artwork in museums, a man learned in Amsterdam today.

The judge slapped an unbending ban from the Stedelijk Museum on him, for saying that he would “piss all over” a painting by Marlene Dumas “to improve it with a well-aimed stream.” He had also threatened to urinate on a piece by Luc Tuymans.

The man, named by Algemeen Dagblad as ex-convict and artist Van Koningsbruggen, had initiated court proceedings in 2012 after the museum first banned him. The museum then considered allowing him back in on a trial basis this year, but then he emailed that he might visit with convicted criminal William Holleeder and there would be big chance that the latter might “take a whiz against the statue of Dan Flavin.” The museum reinstated the ban immediately.

The judge ruled today that the Stedelijk Museum was justified in not wanting to take any chances that Van Koningsbruggen would damage its works of art. The magistrate also took the man’s criminal past into consideration; he had been sentenced in 2007 to one year in prison for arson, after setting fire to the project office for the Wieringerrandmeer. Apparently, he was against the lake.

During his court case, he defended his threats by saying that the museum should not have taken his email threats seriously. He said it was satire and it was in no way comparable to the circumstances that prompted him to burn down the project office. The judge said, though, that the museum was right in not wanting to find out if that was true.