Raccoon breaks into workshop and destroys 40 pieces of art

Raccoon breaks into workshop and destroys 40 pieces of art
Photo: DPA
Last Friday, an artist in Thüringen was shocked to discover that his workshop had been vandalised, not by a criminal but by a raccoon.

When artist Dieter M. Weidenbach (72) entered his workshop on Friday morning, he found his canvases and sculptures damaged and strewn around the place, along with tools and paint cans, reports the Thüringer Allgemeine (TA).

He initially suspected a break-in by an art thief or vandals, but the true culprit was a lot smaller and much furrier than expected.

“It looked like a battlefield”, Weidenbach, who comes from Oßmannstadt in Thüringen, told Bild.

As Weidenbach started cleaning up he found no sign of a break in or that anything had been stolen, but he soon caught the culprit red-handed (or rather red-pawed) at the scene of the crime.

The raccoon had taken refuge perched on one of the ceiling beams.

“He looked at me calmly with his cute eyes. He had a beautiful coat. But I was so angry” the 72-year-old told Bild, and who could blame him?

The raccoon had destroyed a glazed picture frame, several easels and dozens of canvases, as well as damaging a total of 40 works of art by the artist and several sculptures, leaving behind paw prints to link him to the crime.

According to Weidenbach the raccoon caused €3,000 worth of damage, but, since it's unlikely the raccoon will pay, the insurance company will have to foot the bill.

Even worse for the artist was that the raccoon had gotten a little too comfortable in his new surroundings and refused to budge.

“I tried to chase the intruder out with a wooden staff for two days!” complains Weidenbach, but his attempts were unsuccessful.
The artist eventually called the fire department who put him in touch with a hunter. But, lucky for the raccoon, it fled the house before the hunter arrived. “It was as if he had guessed that he could be in trouble” Weidenbach told the TA.
Given that there were missing ceiling tiles and insulation lying on the floor, the raccoon probably got inside through the walls.
Weidenbach doesn't think he's seen the last of the furry friends, saying, “I'll probably have to deal with more invasions.”