The Movies That Destroyed Famous Artwork, From 'The Glass Onion' to 'Titanic'

Be careful next time you need to sneeze in a museum.

Like a snowflake, or even a human life, a beautiful work of art is unique in itself and should be treated with the utmost care and respect. So when we see one of these symbols of the great human imagination chopped off, burned, dismantled or dumped on the ground, our tears well up. We didn't cry! We are just allergic! So when these masterpieces of art, sculpture, and engineering are vandalized on film, we're sure to take notice and create a comprehensive list of the most memorable acts of profanity.

"The Mona Lisa" in 'Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery' (2022)

In "Glass Onions", the second installment in the Knives Out series, the pride and joy of Miles Brown (Edward Norton) is seen in his former business partner's identical twin Helen Brand (Jenelle Monaie) turns into a raging rage in the course of revenge for her late sister's abuse and murder by Bron's hands. Norton's character is a carbon copy of Elon Musk, who goes to great lengths to get da Vinci's masterpiece, only to watch it burn to the ground. If he wanted his legacy to be compared to the Mona Lisa, he did Possess it when it is destroyed.

The Statue of Liberty in 'Planet of the Apes' and 'Cloverfield' (2008)

The 1968 sci-fi epic Planet of the Apes and J.J.'s first Cloverfield film. Abrams saw the majestic Statue of Liberty destroyed in 2008. Once with our ape overlords in a sci-fi classic, and once with an unusually large Manhattan alien invader in a thriller. There seems to be a bit of pattern development here, but as long as it happens every forty years, it makes it easier to digest on the big screen. Although the decapitation at Cloverfield and the subsequent head-firing are all kinds of surreal and visceral.

Thomas Gainsborough, Edgar Degas, and Rembrandt van Rijn pieces in 'Batman' (1989)

Jack Nicholson's disturbing iteration of the Joker, Batman's arch-enemy, does a lot on several pieces at Gotham's most prestigious museum, The Fluegelheim. In the film that kicked off the Batman franchise in 1989, he and his henchmen destroyed Thomas Bainsborough's rococo "The Blue Boy," Rembrandt's Rembrandt's portrait and Degas' sculpture of the legendary ballerina, while the Joker performed a beautiful dance to Prince's "Party." It should be noted, however, that he did Spare Francis Bacon's "meat figure", but the damage has been done.

Pablo Picasso's "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon" in Titanic (1997)

maybe It's fitting that Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) is an amateur artist in James Cameron's epic Titanic. Luckily, while Pablo Picasso's piece in the film, "The Maiden of Avignon" did exist when the Titanic sank, it wasn't actually on the ship. Literally just a little bit of artistic liberty was used by the set decorators to depict how good the passengers are on deck before the captain forgets to avoid the iceberg. When Titanic returns to theaters next month for its 25th anniversary, you can see Picasso's masterpiece destroyed again on the big screen.

"Whistler's Mother" in 'Bean' (1997)

British comedian Rowan Atkinson couldn't have been better as the lovable eccentric Mr Bean on his way to the Grierson Art Gallery in England. There, he accidentally sneezes on James McNeill Whistler's iconic "Whistler's Mother," and then adds insult to injury by trying to remedy it himself with a handkerchief. The result is the ruined masterpiece of a headless chair-sitting figure from the late 90s comedy of the same name, Bean. The scene is underscored by a hilariously ominous Hitchcockian musical number that makes the gaffe It felt like a shower scene from Psycho. Take it easy Mr Bean, you're only making things worse.

Diego Rivera's "Man at the Crossroads" in 'Frida' (2002)

"Man at the Crossroads" by Diego Rivera (played in Alfred Molina's film) was at the center of controversy over how Salma Hayek-driven biopic Frida was portrayed. In 1934, the Rockefeller family commissioned the great Spanish artist to create a mural, so he and his companion, Frida Kahlo, traveled to New York City for the project. But the work was ultimately ruined when Rivera refused to remove the overarching communist theme behind his stunning mural, at the behest of wealthy and influential patron Nelson Rockefeller (Edward Norton). It's a sad commentary on how great art sometimes gives way to partisan politics.

Van Gogh's "Starry Night" and "Road with Cypress and Star" in 'I Am Legend' (2007)

One of the most recognizable masterpieces of all time, Vincent van Gogh's "Starry Night" hangs over the fireplace in the home of the last man in New York City, Dr. Robert Neville (Will Smith) in I Am Legend. If you've seen the movie, then you know that, unfortunately, this precious painting, along with Van Gogh's second classic, "Path of Cypresses and Stars," was later found in Neville's house by dark seekers. Destroyed when occupied, he demolished His own home kills dozens of mutated scavengers before escaping through the basement door—well, it depends on how you see the ending.

Raphael's "Portrait of a Young Man" in Monuments Men (2014)

Towards the end of World War II, a civilian army of about 350 untrained men known as the "Monument Men" set out to salvage as many innocents as possible had been stolen by Hitler and other members of the German Third Reich. Priceless Art. George Clooney and John Goodman star as two monumental figures who retrieve a wealth of priceless treasures from greats like Rembrandt, Picasso, Matisse, Van Gogh and Vermeer. Sadly, they were never able to find Raphael's Portrait of a Young Man, which is thought to have been destroyed or lost.

Golden Gate Bridge in San Andreas (2015)

So, you ask, how did action superstar Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson end up on the list of movies about fine art? Because in his disaster film "San Andreas," a deadly earthquake throws a massive fault line off balance, triggering a tsunami that destroys one of America's most iconic structures, the Golden Gate Bridge. It's true, even The Rock can't help to stop the total destruction caused by shifting tectonic plates beneath the Earth's surface.

Big Ben and The Eiffel Tower in Mars Attacks! (1996)

At first glance, it looks like the big-headed Martian invaders from Mars Attacks! come safely. But you know the dastardly alien invasion in Gothic Masters, Tim Burton's sci-fi thriller that turns evil in the end. A star-studded band including Jack Nicholson, Michael J Fox and Glenn Close can only watch as the creepy tourists viciously fight for survival, including tearing down London's cathedral. Ben and the majestic Eiffel Tower in France are bent on controlling the planet.

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