OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (CBSLA) — This incident might put off this kid from hugging altogether.

A Kansas family is on the hook for more than $100,000 after their 5-year-old put his arms around an art piece at a community center and toppled it, and it was all caught by security cameras.

The incident happened during a wedding reception at the Tomahawk Ridge Community Center in Overland Park, Kansas last month, WGN reported.

The boy can be seen hugging the base of the sculpture named “Aphrodite di Kansas City” by local artist Bill Lyons, the Kansas City Star said. He attempts to hold it up as it begins to lean forward but can’t stop it from falling.

“This glass mosaic torso is laying on the ground and someone is following me around demanding my personal information,” the boy’s mother Sarah Goodman told WGN.

The family soon learned of the piece’s hefty price tag.

“‘Maybe this is like 800 or something.’ No, it’s $132,000!” Goodman told reporters. “I’m sorry, we’re finished here.”

The Goodmans said they received a letter from the City of Overland’s insurance company accusing them of negligence for not monitoring their children, according to WGN.

In response, the mother said, “My children are well-supervised, but all people get distracted.”

Goodman put the blame on the recreation center, saying there was no glass buffer around the sculpture or even a sign around it saying “Do not touch.”

Sean Reilly, spokesman for the City of Overland Park, told WGN the statue was on loan to the city and that they were responsible for protecting “the public investment.” He added that the display was never meant to be touched, saying, “There’s a societal responsibility that you may not interact with it if it’s not designed for interaction.”

Lyons told The Kansas City Star the sculpture made of glass an other materials took him two years to complete and that it was his most ambitious work to date.

Still, Goodman maintains the $132,000 amount is “astronomical.” She told WGN the family was waiting to see if the city will seek legal action.

Comments (13)
  1. Overland Park, KS, where they charge your kindergartener $10 for a simple box of crayons, and dun you if you don’t mow your lawn often enough, or park in your own driveway overnight.

  2. Sad, the kid is probably scared and confused. But, parents do have a responsibility to watch their kids and prevent them from damaging property. It is no different than a dog owner being held responsible for the damage his pooch might cause to someone else’s property.

  3. “We heard a bunch of commotion and I thought, ‘Whose yelling at my son?’” Goodman explained. “This glass mosaic torso is laying on the ground and someone is following me around demanding my personal information.” Wow. This lady is a piece of work.

  4. I say he’s entitled to $50 for materials. It has NO ADDITIONAL VALUE. Garbage modern “art.”

  5. I would hate to hear the young child started suffering panic attacks and night terrors from a sculpture almost crushing him due to the “Negligence” of the person responsible for staging such a high dollar art piece!!

  6. Bob Blaylock says:

      If the work was in a public place, and so unstable that a five-year-old could that easily knock it over and destroy it, then the fault is not at all with the child, but entirely with the mute donkeys who were responsible for putting it there without making sure that it was safely secure and stable.

  7. As a professional artist I am perplexed at how Mr. Lyons can price out his sculpture for such an exorbitant amount as $130,000.

  8. I love how its the facilities fault and not her own for not watching her kid, not to mention the other kid standing there. Guess the bar at the reception was more important.

  9. Please report the name of the insurance company so that we can all stop doing business with them. Ultimately, the statue was insured for things like this. This is why the city pays insurance – these things happen.

    To go after a couple young parents for the essentially the cost of a whole new house like this is bordering on unconscionable. There is no way they are going to be able to pay $132000 for tipping over a statue.

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