A brazen artist given delivered in return two blank canvases he calls 'Take the Money and Run'.
The Kunsten Museum of Modern Art in Aalborg, Denmark was stunned by the contribution but insists the plain white pieces are conceptually interesting artwork.
Jens Haaning charged 25,000 Krone (£2,900) for his time and given thousands more in cash to recreate his previous works which compared the average Danish annual income to Austrian's, for an exhibit called 'Work It Out'.
Museum director Lasse Andersson said that rather than offering anything that vaguely looked like his earlier pieces, Haaning turned in two canvases as part of a joke, LadBible reports.
Andersson told CBS News: "We also have a contract that the money $84,000 US dollars to be displayed in the work is not Jens' and that it must be paid back when the exhibition closes on 16 January 2022."
"The curator received an email in which Jens Haaning wrote that he had made a new piece of art work and changed the work title into 'Take the Money and Run'.
"Subsequently, we could ascertain that the money had not been put into the work."
The director explained his inbox was bombarded by concerned colleagues who discovered Haaning's prank which he describes as a "wake up call".
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"The staff was very surprised when they opened the crates. I was abroad when the crates were opened, but suddenly received a lot of mails," Andersson said.
He continued: "Jens is known for his conceptual and activistic art with a humouristic touch. And he gave us that – but also a bit of a wake-up call as everyone now wonders where did the money go?"
Hanning revealed his thought process behind the stunt in a press release which reads: "The idea behind was to show how salaries can be used to measure the value of work and to show national differences within the European Union.
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"But by changing the title of the work to 'Take the Money and Run', Haaning questions artists' rights and their working conditions in order to establish more equitable norms within the art industry."
In a statement, he added: "Everyone would like to have more money and, in our society, work industries are valued differently.
"The artwork is essentially about the working conditions of artists."
Andersson said Haaning has until January 16 2022 to return the borrowed $84,000.
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