A Danish artist owes around 500,000 kroner (Rs14,408,870) to Kunsten museum in Aalborg after submitting two blank canvasses as part of a project called “Take the Money and Run”.

Conceptual artist Jens Haaning presses upon the issues of power and inequality through his work and one of his projects was commissioned by by the Kunsten Museum of Modern Art in Aalborg, Denmark, in 2021 in which he had to recreate banknotes in two pieces.

Haaning, instead, gave two blank canvasses.


He said, “The work is that I have taken their money.”

While the museum did put his work on display, Haaning refused to return the money which he owes. Resultsntly, the museum has taken legal action against the artist.

A court has now ordered him to return the cash – but keep some for expenses.

The court has deducted artist fee and mounting fee from the total sum and order Haaning to refund 492,549 kroner.

BBC spoke with Museum director Lasse Andersson who said that he had laughed out loud when he first saw the two blank canvasses in 2021, and decided to show the works anyway.

“He stirred up my curatorial staff and he also stirred me up a bit, but I also had a laugh because it was really humoristic,” the museum’s director, Lasse Andersson, told BBC’s Newsday programme in 2021.

Haaning, on the contrary, said that he did not intend to pursue the case any further, “It has been good for my work, but it also puts me in an unmanageable situation where I don’t really know what to do.”

While talking to TV2 Nord on Monday, Hanning said that the museum had made “much, much more” money than what was invested because of publicity.