Iconic artwork destroyed when woman tapped it to see if it was a real balloon

A woman has lived the nightmare we have all feared when setting foot in a gallery.

You trip, lose your balance, and bam – you have crashed into a work of art worth a fortune.

This unfortunate scenario unfolded during a VIP event at a gallery in Miami, Florida, when the Jeffrey Koons Balloon Dog sculpture worth £35,000 was accidentally knocked over.

A video shows art lovers looking on in horror moments after it smashed into dozens of pieces on the floor on Thursday.

Witnesses say an ‘older woman’ tapped the sculpture before it fell off the pedestal.

A gallery staff member approaches the debris with a broom and a dustpan to sweep up the shards.

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The accident happened during the exclusive opening night of Art Wynwood, a contemporary art fair held annually in the city.

Collector Stephen Gamson told the Miami Herald: ‘When this thing fell to the ground, it was like how a car accident draws a huge crowd on the highway.’

He recalled seeing an ‘older woman’ tap the sculpture, immediately knocking it off the pedestal.

The recognisable artwork loudly shattered into pieces, shocking everyone nearby.

Mr Gamson assumed the woman tapped it because she was curious if it was a real balloon – alas, it was not.

Fortunately for her, it is understood the now-destroyed piece is covered by insurance.

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