5-Year-Old Knocks Over Sculpture, Family Gets Bill For £99,000

We all know how clumsy toddlers can be, but what would you do if your little one broke an expensive sculpture in a gallery and you were asked to foot the bill?

That’s exactly what happened to one mother in Kansas, US, when her five-year-old son knocked over a £99,000 sculpture ($132,000) at the Tomahawk Ridge Community Centre. The family had been at the centre for a wedding reception that afternoon and were getting ready to leave.

CCTV footage showed the boy touching the sculpture at the centre which slightly wobbled forward. He tried to push it back up, but the sculpture fell on the floor, causing the boy to fall over, too.

(Photo: kansas3)
(Photo: kansas3)

The boy’s mother, Sarah Goodman, received a letter from the insurance company representing the centre one month later, explaining the sculpture was damaged beyond repair.

The letter said: “This loss occurred when your son was in a closed area of the property and toppled a glass sculpture. Under common law in Kansas, you are responsible for the supervision of a minor child and your failure to monitor them during this loss could be considered negligent.”

Goodman said she was offended by the letter, and explained that the sculpture itself should have been protected if it was valuable. She said it was not behind glass or protected.

“It needed to be cemented,” she told Kansas City Star. “They obviously didn’t secure it safely. It’s clear accidents happen and this was an accident. I don’t want to diminish the value of their art. But I can’t pay for that.”

A spokesman for the centre, Sean Reilly, said, according to Sky News, that the piece of artwork had been loaned to the centre and there had been no problem with kids touching artwork there before.

The family are now trying to settle the bill using their homeowners’ insurance.

Related:

Why Active Play Is So Important For Toddlers

Live Like A Toddler? Count Me In!

The Beauty Of Gardening With Toddlers

Also on HuffPost

Make a crown fit for a prince or princess

Wrap bendable card around your child's head, take the measurement and trim off the excess card. Next, cut the card into a crown using a zigzag or get creative and try sticky-up hair or a favourite animal’s head or ears. Now it's your toddler's turn to decorate the card with felt tip pens, paint and glued-on bits of paper. Once they’re done staple the short sides together to create the crown. This is a great craft project for a play date.
Wrap bendable card around your child's head, take the measurement and trim off the excess card. Next, cut the card into a crown using a zigzag or get creative and try sticky-up hair or a favourite animal’s head or ears. Now it's your toddler's turn to decorate the card with felt tip pens, paint and glued-on bits of paper. Once they’re done staple the short sides together to create the crown. This is a great craft project for a play date.

Make a car for whacky races

Large cardboard boxes are just begging to be transformed into cars. Glue paper plates to the side as wheels and let your child's imagination roar. They may want to draw in people and make a bus or add windscreens and doors but let them take the driving seat.
Large cardboard boxes are just begging to be transformed into cars. Glue paper plates to the side as wheels and let your child's imagination roar. They may want to draw in people and make a bus or add windscreens and doors but let them take the driving seat.

Make a mask

Make masks with paper plates, hole punched on either side and threaded with elastic to fit your child's head. Your toddler can create whatever face they like using pens, paint, cut up tissue paper for hair and pipe cleaners for whiskers.
Make masks with paper plates, hole punched on either side and threaded with elastic to fit your child's head. Your toddler can create whatever face they like using pens, paint, cut up tissue paper for hair and pipe cleaners for whiskers.

Make a model with modelling clay

Toddlers love squishing, rolling and moulding play dough with different shaped cutters and their hands. Keep your homemade play dough in a sealed container or mix up a new batch with this super simple recipe:  3 cups of flour; 2 tablespoons of cornflour, 1 cup of salt, 1 cup of cold water and 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil. Your toddler will love mixing up the ingredients. Divide your dough and choose different food colourings. <strong>Note: </strong>The salt content of homemade play dough is very high - keep an eye on your toddler to make sure they don’t eat any.
Toddlers love squishing, rolling and moulding play dough with different shaped cutters and their hands. Keep your homemade play dough in a sealed container or mix up a new batch with this super simple recipe:  3 cups of flour; 2 tablespoons of cornflour, 1 cup of salt, 1 cup of cold water and 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil. Your toddler will love mixing up the ingredients. Divide your dough and choose different food colourings. Note: The salt content of homemade play dough is very high - keep an eye on your toddler to make sure they don’t eat any.

Do some potato printing and finger painting

Halve a few potatoes and cut out shapes of stars, circles, letters or animals (whatever your child asks you to do). Then, dip the cut out potato half into washable, brightly coloured poster paint and it's time for some stamping fun on plain paper. Hand printing is lots of squelchy fun too (and you'll have a lovely record of just how little their hands were).
Halve a few potatoes and cut out shapes of stars, circles, letters or animals (whatever your child asks you to do). Then, dip the cut out potato half into washable, brightly coloured poster paint and it's time for some stamping fun on plain paper. Hand printing is lots of squelchy fun too (and you'll have a lovely record of just how little their hands were).

Make some binoculars or a telescope

This couldn't be simpler: after your toddler has painted two cardboard tubes the colours of their choice, tape them together for a pair of binoculars. A single longer roll (from your kitchen towel) makes a great pirate's telescope too.
This couldn't be simpler: after your toddler has painted two cardboard tubes the colours of their choice, tape them together for a pair of binoculars. A single longer roll (from your kitchen towel) makes a great pirate's telescope too.

Make some silly glasses

Cut out a pair of glasses in plain cardboard. Stick coloured cellophane into the holes as lenses and let your toddler paint them in bright, funky colours. Once the paint is dry, provide a selection of sparkly bits and pieces to decorate: think sequins, buttons, self-adhesive spots, even pasta shapes. Now your toddler is ready for a super-cute photo opportunity. <strong>Note: </strong>Ensure your toddler is supervised at all times as small objects like sequins and buttons are choking hazards.
Cut out a pair of glasses in plain cardboard. Stick coloured cellophane into the holes as lenses and let your toddler paint them in bright, funky colours. Once the paint is dry, provide a selection of sparkly bits and pieces to decorate: think sequins, buttons, self-adhesive spots, even pasta shapes. Now your toddler is ready for a super-cute photo opportunity. Note: Ensure your toddler is supervised at all times as small objects like sequins and buttons are choking hazards.

Love HuffPost? Become a founding member of HuffPost Plus today.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting