Getty Images / Cindy Ord

Perrotin has announced that they have removed Maurizio Cattelan’s $120,000 “Comedian” artwork on the final day of Art Basel Miami. The installation reportedly “caused several uncontrollable crowd movements and the placement of the work on our booth compromised the safety of the artwork around us.”

Crowds flocked to the booth after a performance artist peeled the banana from the gallery wall and proceeded to eat it.

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With a heavy heart, I regret to inform you that ‘Comedian’ will be removed from our Art Basel Miami Beach booth for the last day of the fair, Sunday, December 8th. This morning at 9am, following recommendations, we removed the installation. We want to thank the organizers of the fair for their help and continued support. Art Basel collaboratively worked with us to station guards and create uniform lines. However, the installation caused several uncontrollable crowd movements and the placement of the work on our booth compromised the safety of the artwork around us, including that of our neighbors. In the end, I would like to warmly thank all those who participated in this memorable adventure. As well as our colleagues and neighbors, who helped support our endeavors, often graciously indicating the location of Comedian. When Maurizio first told me about his idea, I never once anticipated that it could become what it is today. ‘Comedian,’ with its simple composition, ultimately offered a complex reflection of ourselves. I am eternally grateful to Maurizio for entrusting me with the display of this watershed conceptual work. We sincerely apologize to all the visitors of the fair who today will not be able to participate in Comedian. _ @mauriziocattelan @artbasel @cattelanbanana @galerieperrotin #cattelanbanana @whitecube #artbaselmiamibeach #artbasel #mauriziocattelan #cattelan #perrotin

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According to the Miami Herald, New York-based performance artist David Datuna ate the banana that was ducted taped to the gallery wall at around 1:45 p.m yesterday. “Art performance by me. I love Maurizio Cattelan’s artwork and I really love this installation. It’s very delicious,” Mr Datuna posted on Instagram. Watch how it unfolded below.

He strips it off the wall and proceeds to unpeel the banana

Datuna then tells the horrified onlookers and gallery staff that it isn’t a publicity stunt

The fair-goers are shook

Although the gallery staff appeared shocked by the “performance,” the banana was quickly replaced and, according to the BBC, no further action will be taken.

Although the work has now been removed it’s not a huge loss for the artist or gallery though. The $120,000 price tag for the work derives from the idea rather than the object itself. The work comes with a Certificate of Authenticity, and owners are told that they can replace the banana at any time. Three buyers bought the limited-edition pieces of the banana at Art Basel this week.

Whether Datuna’s intervention was planned or not, the attention generated by the performance is likely to increase the value of the work, in the same way that the partial destruction of Banksy’s Love Is in the Bin work raised its value.

Weekend Staff Writer

Isabelle is an Australian writer based in Berlin.