German gallery fires employee for hanging own art in exhibition

A modern art gallery in Germany has fired an employee after discovering the budding artist had hung his own work in an exhibition.

The 51-year-old man had drilled two holes in a wall to mount his painting in Munich’s Pinakothek der Moderne.

Local media reported the man had pulled the stunt in the hope of achieving his artistic breakthrough.

A spokesperson for the gallery said the artwork was not on display for very long.

"The supervisors notice something like this immediately," Tine Nehler told German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, adding the piece was returned to the artist.

The man was an employee of the gallery’s technical services team and described himself as a freelance artist.

His artwork measured 23in by 47in (60 by 120 centimetres) and was hung in an empty passageway.

In addition to his employment being terminated, he has also been banned from the gallery.

The gallery is one of the largest of modern art in Europe and features works of Pablo Picasso, Max Ernst and Salvador Dalí among others.

A few months ago a similar incident happened in the German city of Bonn.

Staff were packing up an exhibit at the Bundeskunsthalle when they noticed an extra painting had been put on display by a member of the public.

"We think it’s funny and we want to get to know the artist. So get in touch! There’s no trouble. Word of honour," the gallery posted on X, formerly Twitter.

The artist in question did get in touch to reveal the painting was hers.

Danai Emmanouilidis said she had always wanted to get one of her paintings into an exhibition. "I smuggled it in with a giant hoodie over my leggings," she told local public broadcaster WDR.