Jeff Koons sculpture worth £35,000 knocked over and smashed at Miami gallery event

US artist Jeff Koons poses in front of his artwork titled "Balloon dog"  (AFP via Getty Images)
US artist Jeff Koons poses in front of his artwork titled "Balloon dog" (AFP via Getty Images)

An art collector accidentally knocked over a £34,800 sculpture by US pop artist Jeff Koons.

The shiny blue “Dog Balloon” statue is said to have been toppled to the ground after the collector tapped it with a finger at the opening night of Art Wynwood, a contemporary art fair held annually in Miami.

The sculpture had been placed along an on acrylic base emblazoned with Mr Koons’ surname.

Local artist Stephen Gamson, who attended the venue on Thursday night, told the Miami Herald that he had been admiring the sculpture when the woman knocked it off its pedestal.

"When this thing fell to the ground, it was like how a car accident draws a huge crowd on the highway," Mr Gamson told the newspaper.

Some collectors at the event thought the toppling of the statue was a performance stunt.

Bénédicte Caluch, an art advisor with Bel-Air Fine Art galleries which represents the sculpture, said that the sculpture was covered by insurance.

"It was an event!" she said. "Everybody came to see what happened."

Footage of the incident filmed by a bystander shows employees at the gallery sweeping up glass shards from the floor. “I can’t believe somebody would knock that over,” a voice is heard saying in the video.

Cédric Boero, who also works for Bel-Air Fine Art galleries, told the New York Times that the woman who knocked over the sculpture was “very sorry” and “just wanted to disappear”.

Mr Koons, 68, is a US painter and sculptor who draws inspiration from everyday objects. His works have auctioned for as much as £75m.

He has not commented on the incident.