'Delicious' $120,000 banana artwork taken off wall and eaten

Crowds pose with the pricey banana artwork
Crowds pose with the pricey banana artwork Copyright Reuters
By Luke Hurst with AFP
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An artist posted a video of himself taking a $120,000 banana artwork off the wall at a gallery, before peeling and eating it in front of shocked onlookers

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An artist has described a $120,000 (€108,000) artwork - a banana taped to a wall - as "delicious" after he ate it.

The piece, titled 'Comedian', was a work of art by Italian Maurizio Cattelan, which had sold to a French collector for the eye-watering amount.

Artist David Datuna, who describes himself as a Georgian-born American artist living in New York, posted to his Instagram account on Saturday a video of him taking the now quite ripe banana off the wall, peeling it, and then eating it in front of a crowd of onlookers.

As he readied his snack at the Art Basel show in Miami Beach, he said "art performance...hungry artist".

He was taken away by a gallery official for questioning, but the director of museum relations, Lucien Terras, told the Miami Herald "he did not destroy the artwork", instead insisting the banana is "the idea".

The value of the work is in the certificate of authenticity, the newspaper reported. The banana is meant to be replaced.

And it was replaced shortly afterwards, with crowds of people flocking forward to pose for pictures with the new, fresher banana on the wall.

Reuters
Gallery visitors posed for pictures with the fresh banana taped to the wallReuters

Gallery director Peggy Leboeuf said that no legal action was planned against Datuna.

"He was not arrested, but we asked him to leave the booth and to leave the fair," she said.

"We have his contact and everything, so we can go further, but I don't think we will."

Cattelan is perhaps best known for his 18-carat, fully functioning gold toilet called "America" that he had once offered on loan to US President Donald Trump.

The toilet, valued at around $5 to $6 million, was in the news again in September when it was stolen from Britain's Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of wartime leader Winston Churchill, where it had been on display.

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