Kunsten Museum of Modern Art Aalborg

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9000 Aalborg

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Haaning Case Leads to Civil Lawsuit

Jan 17th 2022, 5:00am

The case of the two empty picture frames and artist Jens Haaning’s work 'Take the Money and Run' is now heading for a civil lawsuit.

The deadline for repaying the money in connection with the Take the Money and Run case has now been exceeded, and Kunsten has passed on the case to the museum’s lawyer with a view to a civil lawsuit.


Kunsten previously made a large sum of money available to the artist for the purpose of re-establishing a work. The agreement was that the money was to be reimbursed on 16 January. This did not happen. That is why Kunsten has been compelled to take the next step.


This is an unfortunate case, which we would have preferred to resolve on the basis of discussion with Jens Haaning. Artists are our most important collaborators, so we are far from happy about the situation. We are taking this step, because we have a responsibility to the private foundations that have financially supported this exhibition. We also have a responsibility to our visitors in terms of providing them with as many experiences as possible for the money, says Lasse Andersson, Director of Kunsten.


Christen Obel, Chair of Kunsten’s board, adds:


The board made this decision about the lawsuit, because sadly there is no better alternative.


Artists' fees

In the context of the case, the remuneration of artists in general has been up for debate. It goes without saying that Kunsten pays the artists who exhibit at Kunsten. We have entered into voluntary agreements with the likes of Billedkunstnernes Forbund and the Association of Danish Museums. Kunsten also made an agreement with Jens Haaning for a fee in accordance with current agreements.


Of course we pay artists according to the established tariff and comply with our agreements with them, says Lasse Andersson.


In the context of the Work it Out exhibition, on the basis of grants from private foundations, Kunsten paid approximately DKK 1.2 million in fees, production support etc. to the artists who contributed works.


In the case of the work Take the Money and Run and Jens Haaning’s fee/payment, Kunsten is resorting to its right of retention until the case is settled.


Right now, Kunsten has no further comments, and we do not wish to further escalate the matter.


To read more about the case and to get answers to the most frequently asked questions, visit


Click here for photos of the artwork Take the Money and Run.


For press service, please contact:

Mette Kirstine Goddiksen

Journalist at Kunsten

+45 31 99 41 03 or