Museum Visitor Injured After Falling In 8-Foot Hole In Floor He Thought Was A Painting

August 21, 2018


An Italian tourist in his sixties recently fell into an eight foot hole at the Fundação de Serralves, Museum of Contemporary Art in Porto, Portugal, after he mistook the hole for a painting on the floor. The installation, Descent Into Limbo, was actually the work of artist Anish Kapoor (probably best known for Cloud Gate, aka 'the Bean' in Chicago), who painted the interior of the hole with the darkest black pigment available in 1992 when it was created to make it appear as if it has no depth at all (mission accomplished). Interestingly, Kapoor has since been awarded the exclusive rights to use Vantablack (the darkest chemical substance ever created, comprised of vertically oriented carbon nanontubes that absorb 99.965% of light) for artistic purposes. Which, for the record, is a complete dick move (what kind of artist feels like they need an advantage?). Anyways, despite plenty of warnings (both from posted signs and museum staff), this 60-something year old Italian man decided to risk it anyways and tried walking across the hole, finding out the hard way that he isn't The Last Airbender. He was treated for minor back injuries and released from the hospital. The exhibit has since been closed, but will reopen again shortly, and, if I have anything to do with it, with absolutely no warning signs at all. "I approve of this." I knew you would, Darwin.

Keep going for a shot of Kapoor's design for the piece while I wonder why it's so hard for some people to accept something that looks like a hole might be a hole.


Thanks to becca b, who's not convinced this guy didn't think this was the 'leap of faith' Path Of God trail in Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade.

  • Octo

    Isn't a painted spot of Vantablack on the floor enough to give the same effect? Having a physical hole was superfluous.

  • Billy Rocka

    I don't know about everyone else but reading the heading made me giggle...

  • Eric Ord

    The Geekologie message boards

  • Douchy McDouche

    Kids: Grandma, grandma, where's grandpa?!
    Grandma: I'm sorry kids, but your grandpa has taken a Descent Into Limbo™

  • ward00

    Give new meaning to not being able to escape from a black hole

  • TheQiwiMan

    Security Camera footage of the incident:

  • Andyman7714

    After the man fell in the hole the artist came out and said, "TADA! My performance art is now complete! Thank you! Thank you!"

  • Jenness

    Here's his picture and I think you're right

  • Meh

    How is that allowed though, shouldn't there at least be a rope or railing?

  • side effect

    What was he doing walking across the hole even if he thought it was just a painting on the floor? Has he ever been encouraged to walk on paintings at other museums?

  • Mark

    There should have been a caution tape around it in my opinion. For the same reason they keep some paintings cordoned off from people touching them.

  • side effect

    I don't disagree. A nice velvet rope has never detracted from a piece of art.

  • Ollie Williams

    I hate that we, as a society, have to cater to the lowest common denominator of idiot.

  • paperboy

    Yeah, artists are lame.

  • Ollie Williams

    I'm sure Anish Kapoor will be crying on his pillow, knowing that you think him and his 180+ million dollars are lame.

  • Frédéric Purenne

    To be fair, if it's in Vantablack, there is absolutely no depth perception possible, I would TOTALLY fall in the hole without warning signs. The only reproach we can give the man is not reading signs.

  • wbeaty

    Actually, a large sphere with small hole is utterly black, even if painted white. (They're used as "blackbody" sources.) Paint it black for even better darkness.

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