As mum to a toddler who hasn’t quite mastered the art of smooth mobility – with windmilling limbs that shoot out at random – I actively avoid anywhere that involves breakable items on display.
My fear is not so much having to shell out a wad of cash for something I would never have bought (and now cannot use anyway) but the burning embarrassment of being the owner of the little vandal responsible for the wreckage.
Now parents in China have had the misfortune of having my worst nightmare realised, in the most extravagantly disastrous way possible…
Chinese artist Zhao, a 22-year-old graduate of Zhejiang University’s Institute of Technology, is a big-time Lego enthusiast; his latest piece, the fox “Nick” from kids’ film Zootopia took three painstaking days and nights to build, using close to 10,000 pieces, with an estimated value of around £10,000.
Zhao’s most intricate and time-consuming creation yet was displayed at the LEGO exhibition in the city of Ningbo, China.
“It took a lot of effort building the sculpture, especially the eyes. I had to change it a lot of times.”
To prevent any maleficence or mishap, a ‘no touching’ sign was placed next to it, in plain view of the public expo attendees.
Which, of course, meaning absolutely nada to a child who can’t read – led to the subsequent shortest exhibition of a single piece in history:
“An hour after the exhibition opened, a boy aged four to five pushed Nick and he fell to the ground and smashed into pieces,” Zhao explained.
“I felt really frustrated and I even [started] to question my life,” laments the artist.
At least the poor guy got plenty of pics of his masterpiece before its untimely demise; he posted the photos of the destroyed giant fox on Chinese social media with the hashtag #ManSpends3DaysAndNightsBuildingBlocks trending as a result and over 80,000 Weibo users sharing, liking and commenting.
He added that the parents were very apologetic, yet he had declined any form of compensation: “I really don’t blame the kid … a child couldn’t really comprehend the cost of such an accident”.
Oh, but that mum and dad sure do – now doomed to an eternity of shame.
Sorry, folks…rather you than me, though.