A cleaning woman at a German museum who mistook a valuable sculpture for an unsightly mess has destroyed a major part of the artwork.
Officials in Dortmund say an installation valued at almost £690,000 was badly damaged when the overzealous cleaner scrubbed away a patina intended to look like a dried rain puddle.
Spokeswoman Dagmar Papajewski said Martin Kippenberger's When It Starts Dripping From The Ceiling is still on show at the Ostwall Museum, despite the damage.
Ms Papajewski said cleaning personnel have been instructed to stay at least 20cm (8") away from the artwork.
It was therefore not clear why the patina had fallen victim to the woman's scrubbing brush.
The work by Kippenberger, a German artist who died in 1997, was on loan to the museum from a private collection.
The late contemporary master had created a tower of wooden slats under which a rubber trough was placed with a thin beige layer of paint representing dried rainwater.
Taking it for an actual stain, the cleaner scrubbed the surface until it gleamed. "It is now impossible to return it to its original state," a spokesman said.
Sky News: Cleaner scrubs away artwork