Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Two Boisterous Kids Smashed a $64,000 Glass Sculpture of a Disney Castle at the Shanghai Museum of Glass

A pair of rambunctious children became every parent’s worst nightmare when they accidentally knocked into a display case at the Shanghai Museum of Glass in China, shattering a $64,000 sculpture of the Enchanted Storybook Castle from Shanghai Disneyland Park.

Billed as the world’s largest glass castle sculpture, the 132-pound Arribas Brothers work took 500 hours to create and features 30,000 pieces, including 24-karat gold spires.

The Arribas Brothers company, which specializes in Disney collectibles, was founded by the late brothers Tomas and Alfonso Arribas. The damaged castle is the work of their nephew, Miguel Arribas.

“The little visitors knew that their behavior was inappropriate, and, under the encouragement of their parents, reported the incident to the museum staff. Their attitudes were friendly and sincere, and they agreed to help out with follow-up matters,” wrote the museum on Weibo.

Comments on the post have been less charitable, with one suggesting that “the parents should compensate the full amount. They have to pay the price for not disciplining naughty kids.”

The Arribas Brothers company has pledged to repair the damage, but current travel restrictions have prevented the company from doing so.

“We can only display the castle in its ‘imperfect’ state, and we’re sorry if this negatively affects your museum experience,” the museum said. The sculpture has been a permanent installation at the museum since 2016, when Shanghai Disneyland opened.

The accident took place as the children chased each other through the galleries in May. It was reported by Chinese outlet the Paper and on the museum’s Weibo, and translated by Vice.

Tomas and Alfonso Arribas first encountered Walt Disney at the New York World’s Fair in 1964, where they were representing Spain as glass artisans, the family craft for 100 years. They opened a studio in Disneyland in California soon after, offering glass blowing demonstrations and custom engraved glassware and sculptures.

Their company’s work is now available at 19 Disney theme parks locations around the world.

Today, the most expensive item on the online Disney store is a limited edition Walt Disney World Cinderella Castle hand-enameled with 28,255 Swarovski crystals and priced at $37,500.

This isn’t the first time that children have run amok at the Shanghai Museum of Glass with unfortunate results. In 2016, two kids ignored protective barriers and tugged on a delicate glass sculpture by Shelly Xue until it broke.

Not only did their parents make no attempt to stop them, museum security footage revealed that the adults were filming the entire incident on their phones.

Security footage from the Shanghai Museum of Glass shows that adults pulled out their smartphones to record the kids vandalizing art by Shelley Xue. Image courtesy of the Shanghai Museum of Glass.

Xue opted not to restore the work, titled Angel is Waiting, which took her two years to complete and was dedicated to her then-newborn daughter. Instead, she renamed the work Broken and installed a video monitor playing the surveillance footage next to the display.

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