A man was recently injured after falling into an 8-foot-deep art installation at the Serralves Foundation Museum in Porto, Portugal. He apparently though it looked fake, so he decided to step into it to make sure.
Created by acclaimed British artist Anish Kapoor in 1992, “Descent Into Limbo” is an optical illusion that looks like a black circle painted on the floor. It’s designed to appear like a bottomless pit and staring into is is reportedly a dizzying experience, but one unnamed Italian tourist visiting the installation last week apparently wanted to do more than that. Despite several warning signs and a staffer tasked with keeping visitors safe, the man somehow managed to test the fake-looking pit by stepping into it. He got injured after taking an 8-foot fall, but at least he satisfied his curiosity.
A representative of the Serralves Foundation Museum told reporters that the man had been hospitalized after the fall, but that he was eventually discharged and is recovering well. Descent into Limbo was closed to the public after the bizarre incident, but will soon be reopened with extra safety measures in place.
After learning about the accident, artist Anish Kappor had this to say: “What can I say? It is a shame.”
To be honest, I am surprised that this didn’t happen sooner. People had been debating whether Descent Into Limbo was actually a hole in the floor or a simple black circle painted with a really dark paint for years, so someone was bound to test it at some point. Museums were apparently wary of this too, as visitors had to sign a disclaimer acknowledging the safety risk.