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Art Basel Miami Beach removes $120,000 banana-taped-to-wall art exhibit after it was eaten

A banana duct-taped to a wall art piece has been taken down.

December 8, 2019, 1:00 PM

An art piece of a banana duct-taped to a wall, which captured a lot of buzz in the past week, has reportedly been taken down at the Art Basel show in Miami Beach.

"The crowds surrounding the installation posed a serious health and safety risk, as well as an access issue, so the work was removed," Art Basel said in a statement to The New York Times on Sunday.

The controversy-stirring artwork first sold for $120,000, and then was sold two more times for $120,000 to $150,000, reported The Times.

The valuable fruit was plucked off the wall and eaten by performance artist David Datuna on Saturday in front of a roomful of stunned art aficionados.

When asked what he was doing by an attendee at the show, Datuna allegedly stated that he was a performance artist, according to the Miami Herald.

To many people's surprise, the consumed banana does not actually reduce the artwork's price, Lucien Terras, director of museum relations for Galerie Perrotin, told the Miami Herald.

The art, called "The Comedian" by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, has a certificate of authenticity, considered valuable because the document certifies that the work was done by the noted artist.

Another banana was taped to the wall after the incident, Terras said.

Datuna, who according to his own website is a "Smithsonian-recognized, New York-based artist focused on the convergence of art and social consciousness," was escorted out of the gallery by security but was not arrested.

A Facebook page presumably belonging to Datuna features an image of Datuna holding a banana with the caption, “It was delicious.”

Cattelan, who has no formal art training, "has often been characterized as the court jester of the art world," according to a profile of him on the Guggenheim Museum’s website.

Cattelan’s banana art has sparked conversations over how art is valued, as well as several spoofs.

Popeye’s Chicken tweeted its version of Cattelan’s conceptual piece:

Others also had fun with the controversy: