Page last updated at 10:51 GMT, Tuesday, 29 July 2008 11:51 UK

Visitor shatters 6,000 art work

Tracey Emin
Tracey Emin at the exhibition in London

A 6,000 sculpture on display at an exhibition in London, curated by artist Tracey Emin, has been smashed.

A visitor fell into a cordoned-off area, knocking the work to the floor where it broke into hundreds of pieces.

The 9ft ceramic sculpture, called Christina, was one of five by Costa Rican artist Tatiana Echeverri Fernandez on show at the Royal Academy.

The gallery was initially closed after the accident on Saturday afternoon but later reopened.

The artist had discussed with gallery staff the best way to protect the works.

It was decided that barriers would be the best option.

The Royal Academy of Arts said: "The Summer Exhibition 2008 had got through its busiest period and it is particularly disappointing that this has happened on a fairly quiet Saturday afternoon."

It added that the Royal Academy was now "arranging for a conservator to come in to assess the damage so that we can inform our insurers".

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