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I’d hate to be running the cleaning contract at Hong Kong’s Grand Hyatt hotel, where cleaners are reported to have thrown out a £2.2 million (US$3.7M, €2.7M) painting along with the rubbish, on Tuesday.
I’ve often quipped about that old adage: "If anything goes wrong, blame the cleaner," arguing that so often it’s not actually the cleaner who’s at fault. However, all the reports are indicating that in this particular incident, the cleaners will have to take some responsibility, since CCTV footage apparently shows them removing the painting from the premises. What are the chances of finding that piece of artwork still intact at the local landfill site I wonder?
I say "some responsibility" though, because surely the fault really lies with the person whose responsibility it was to take care of the painting. It can’t have been looked after properly, can it, if it had been left in a place that would allow others to mistake it for rubbish?
No doubt the thought has occurred to the local police, that these may not actually have been proper cleaners at all, but fraudsters put in place with the express purpose of stealing the artwork. Either way, I hope there’s a happy ending to this one…
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10th April 2014