The National Watch and Clock Museum draws about 14,500 visitors annually to see the almost 2,000 clocks on display, said museum director Noel Poirier.
Despite a plethora of warnings urging museum-goers not to touch any of the watches or clocks, a couple proceeded to pull and poke one hanging clock on their visit on May 31 – until it tumbled from the wall.
“The visitor wanted to see it run and made a decision to take it on himself to do that and the results speak for themselves”, Poirier was reported saying. Predictably, the clock fell to the ground and broke into several pieces. The clock itself, a wooden sculptural clock by artist James Borden that had hung on the museum’s walls since 1994, is an abstract piece of work featuring a number of swinging components including dangling weights reminiscent of those found in a grandfather clock.
In response, the National Watch and Clock Museum posted the video which shows the timepiece fall off the wall after the visitor makes several attempts to get the clock working. “Posting the video is not an effort on our part to shame anyone”, Poirier said, but is a way to remind people to refrain from touching objects, like priceless antique clocks, in museums.
Poirier wouldn’t say how much the clock is worth, but said it was damaged in the fall though “not beyond fix”. “We have more problems with adults than we do with children”, he said.