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Close-up of a crossword puzzle
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91-Year-Old Woman Fills in $89,000 Artwork She Thought Was Crossword Puzzle

Jul 15, 2016

An 91-year-old woman is under investigation after filling in the blank spaces on an $89,000 crossword art piece she thought was an actual crossword puzzle.

The art piece at Nuremberg's Neues Museum, called "Reading-work-piece," is a work of art that closely resembles a crossword. It was made by avant garde artist Arthur Koepcke and features the phrase "insert words." The woman told police she thought those words were an invitation to start filling in answers to the clues, Suddeutsche Zeitung reported. She also said that the museum did not put up a notice telling visitors not to write on the crossword.

Gerlinde Knopp, who led the trip to the museum that the woman attended, said the museum was full of interactive art, which makes it easy to lose sight of what visitors can and cannot do, BBC News reported.

The woman, who has not been named under German privacy law, wrote on "Reading-work-piece" using a ballpoint pen. According to museum officials, she was reported to the police for insurance reasons. They said they believe the art piece, which is on loan from a private collection and insured for about $89,000, can be restored.

The museum said in the future, it will alter the label for the art piece to make it clear that visitors cannot fill in the blanks, The Telegraph reported.

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