German woman fills in crossword puzzle art at museum

NURNBERG , Germany, July 14 (UPI) — An elderly German woman was questioned by police after filling in blank spaces on a crossword puzzle that was being displayed as a work of art at a local museum.

The BBC reports that the 91-year-old woman used a ballpoint pen to write on the work of art titled “Reading-work-piece” by avant garde artist Arthur Koepcke during a senior citizens tour to Nuremberg’s Neues Museum.

The crossword puzzle-themed piece of art from 1965 features the phrase “insert words” which the woman understood as instructions.

“The lady told us she had taken the notes as an invitation to complete the crossword,” a police spokesman told The Telegraph.

Museum Director Eva Kraus said the work, which is worth an estimated $89,000, can be restored, and that the woman was reported for insurance reasons.

“We do realize that the old lady didn’t mean any harm,” she said. “Nevertheless, as a state museum couldn’t avoid making a criminal complaint. Also for insurance reasons we had to report the incident to the police.”

The museum stated that it would place a sign to distinguish the piece from other works of interactive art displayed throughout the museum.

Kraus also said they would inform the woman that the private collector who presented the work of art to the museum was not offended by her mistake.

“We will let the lady know that the collector took the damage to the work in good humor, so she doesn’t have a sleepless night,” Kraus said.

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