Is it art? Installation of empty champagne bottles ends up in trash

Imagine the morning after a party: the hangover and the mess left by late-night guests. A cleaning woman at an Italian museum mistook an art installation featuring dozens of empty champagne bottles and spent party poppers for garbage and binned it.

“Where shall we go dancing tonight?” was designed to represent the consumerism, fraud, mass media and wild parties of the 1980s.

“This installation is kind of a metaphor for the end of the parties of the 80s in Italy, the end of the decade,” Letizia Ragaglia, head of the Museion Bozen-Bolzano in the northern Alto Adige region, told RT.

The problem was the wacky art installation looked authentic enough to pass for the real thing, and in the long run it did. When a cleaning lady, who had just started working at the museum, came to work and saw empty champagne bottles and party poppers scattered on the floor she probably thought, 'Oh, there's a lot to clean.'

After realizing the mistake, museum staff rushed to rescue the missing 'art ingredients' from rubbish sacks and recreated the dolce vita artwork from scratch.

“We had really bad luck. There was a misunderstanding,” Ragaglia said, adding that the good thing about it was the incident sparked a debate about modern art.

“There are also many people who thought that we did it on purpose... but it's not true. It happened, and at the very first moment we were kind of terrified. And then we realized that it was good for us.”

However, the creators of the installation, Sara Goldschmied and Eleonora Chiari, were rather dismayed.

“It cannot be possible for an installation to end up in the rubbish bin,” they were quoted as saying by Alto Adige newspaper.

The show will be open to the public until November 22.

READ MORE: ‘Busted’ Snowden bust back in New York, this time as street art exhibit

It's not the first time modern artworks have been misunderstood. In 2014, a cleaner in southern Italy mistakenly trashed artworks, whose value was estimated at €10,000, she thought to be rubbish. One of the pieces, supposed to be shown in Bari, featured biscuit crumbs scattered on the floor.

In 2001, cleaners threw away a work by Damien Hirst, mistaking it for rubbish. The artwork was made up of empty bottles, full ashtrays and cigarette boxes.