The Texas Tech Museum has a Carl Oscar Borg painting called 'Sacred Medicine.' Last Tuesday during a Hutchison Junior High School fied trip, a museum employee caught a 14-year-old boy urinating on the painting.
According to a police report, the employee surprised the boy in the act and saw "...urine on the paintings frame, on the wall and on the floor." The report also says the boy tried to get away, and "...struck her right shoulder twice with his hand in an attempt to push her aside." Police charged the boy with criminal mischief for urinating on the painting and assault for hitting the museum worker.
Museum Director, Gary Edson, says the painting was donated to the Texas Tech Museum and is part of a larger collection. "They're important because they're aesthetically very valuable to us, they're part of a permanent collection and a dollar value is only a small part of what they're worth," says Edson. The estimated cost to repair the damage to 'Sacred Medicine' is $1,500.
Edson says this is an isolated incident that doesn't call for any change in the way they operate the museum. "The only way you can avoid something like that is to keep people away from the art 100% and that's not what museums are about, we're trying to bring art to the people," says Edson. The boy will have to go before a judge. A court date has not been set.