Up for grabs: Tokyo art exhibit invites theft

Up for grabs: Tokyo art exhibit invites theft

The Tokyo art exhibit opened to enthusiastic visitors, but many of those circulating weren’t just there to soak in some culture — they were casing the joint for a midnight raid.

Hours after the gallery closed for the night, a crowd had gathered ready to pounce on the artworks. The police station was nearby, but officers only intervened for crowd control, because all the pieces at the Stealable Art Exhibition were up for grabs.

The event was intended as “an experiment”, to alter the relationship between artists and visitors, organiser Tota Hasegawa said.

It was originally conceived as a low-key event that might attract some covert thievery, but word spread so fast on social media that a crowd of nearly 200 people packed the streets near the gallery hoping for a chance to grab a prize.

Would-be robbers were told they could raid the gallery from midnight, but the crowd was so big that the theft started half an hour earlier, and the exhibition that had been billed as running for up to 10 days was emptied of art in less than 10 minutes.

sharjah24
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