The parents say the sculpture actually fell on their little boy and are disputing the assertion that they were negligent.
A story out of Overland Park, Kansas is sure to have moms and dads all over the country cringing. Surveillance video captured a 5-year-old boy knocking over an art sculpture that was on display in the lobby of the Tomahawk Ridge Community Center. In turn, his parents are being told to fork $132,000 for the sculpture called "Aphrodite di Kansas City."
It wasn't until a few days after the incident that the family received a $132K claim from the city city of Overland Park’s insurance company, saying that the piece had been damaged beyond repair, according to ABC News. "You’re responsible for the supervision of a minor child… your failure to monitor could be considered negligent," the insurance letter read in part.
“I was surprised, absolutely, more so offended to be called negligent,” said the boy’s mother Sarah Goodman. “They were treating this like a crime scene.”
The community center reportedly consulted with the artist of the sculpture, Bill Lyons, who said it took him two years to create the sculpture and that following the accident, it was beyond repair. Meanwhile, city officials explained that the piece was not "permanently attached," but it was secured to the pedestal with clips, emphasizing that it was "not an interactive piece.”
The city spokesman Sean Reilly told ABC, "We’ve had other pieces there [and] we’ve not had problems. We’ve not had this situation… we’ve not had kids climb on our pieces."
The boy's mom Sarah Goodman told the news outlet that she was "surprised, absolutely, more so offended to be called negligent," noting that she and her husband were just out of frame in the video, saying their goodbyes during a wedding reception they were leaving.
"They were treating this like a crime scene," she said, arguing that the sculpture should have been secured better. “No one would ever to expect that to come into a place that kids are invited and have to worry about a $132,000 dollar piece of art falling on their child. Because he didn’t maliciously break that. It fell on him. It was not secure, it was not safe—at all.”
You can see exactly what happened in the surveillance video, shared by ABC News.
ABC News' Facebook commenters have been torn on who's to blame. "It should have been protected," one wrote. "It would be a much different story if that child had been injured. Museum is responsible for their exhibits." Another said, "Parents have consequences to not containing their children. You break it, you buy it."
Only time will tell if that old adage holds for the Goodman family.