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Furniture damaged

The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery’s Hamilton Inn Sofa, valued at more than $300,000, was badly damaged by a 17-year-old visitor. Source: ninemsn.

Teenager damages $300k sofa at Tasmanian exhibition, ninemsn, 25 January 2015

The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery’s prized Hamilton Inn Sofa, which dates back to 1810 and is ranked among the four most significant pieces of furniture in Australia, has been removed from display for urgent repairs, the Sunday Tasmanian reports.

“The legs of the sofa were damaged when the visitor sat heavily on it,” TMAG acting director Jennifer Storer said of the January 17 incident.

“The (male 17-year-old) visitor was unaware of museum protocol and was sincerely apologetic.”

Ms Storer said an in-house conservator would carry out the repairs on the museum’s most expensive furniture exhibit, which was auctioned at $310,000 in 2005.

According to antiques expert Gordon Brown, the sofa is the country’s earliest example of upolstery manufacture – although its creator remains a mystery.

“The enigma is who made it. Among those convicts was a master craftsman,” Mr Brown told the newspaper.

While some have blamed the accident on reduced staff levels as the result of a recent restructure, Ms Storer maintains the museum had been full staffed when the accident took place.

“Unfortunately nothing could have been done to prevent the incident,” she said.

© ninemsn 2015