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Whoops! Seven Hugely Expensive Accidents

  1. Slippery Hands

    Slippery Hands

    Guinness World Records officials were recently scheduled to watch Britain's acclaimed bartender Salvatore "The Maestro" Calabrese craft the world's most expensive cocktail, a £5,050 ($7,800) concoction made with a £50,000 ($77,650) bottle of Clos de Griffier Vieux cognac dating to 1788. But before they could arrive, the patron who'd ordered the cocktail examined the bottle and dropped it. Here's hoping he left a big tip.

    Photograph by Henrik Weis/Getty Images
  2. Don't Touch the Art

    Don't Touch the Art

    In 2010, a visitor to New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art was inspecting a Picasso painting titled The Actor when she tripped and fell into the $80 million artwork, leaving a six-inch tear in the lower right-hand corner of the canvas. So that's why they tell you to stand back from the art.

  3. Always Wear Slip-Ons

    Always Wear Slip-Ons

    In 2006, a patron at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, England, tripped on his shoelace and tumbled into three 17th century Qing Dynasty vases from China. The vases were glued together and are back on display at the museum, although they're now stored inside a protective case. Didn't something like this happen on The Three Stooges?

  4. Music Lessons

    Music Lessons

    In May 2012, an extremely rare Stradivarius cello, estimated to be worth $20 million, fell off a table during a photo shoot and broke. Of the estimated 1,100 stringed instruments Antonio Stradivari is said to have made, only about 650 remain, including 50 cellos. Er, make that 49 cellos.

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  5.  Pottery Blast

    Pottery Blast

    This ancient Nigerian terra cotta figurine, called a Nok figure, was one of the oldest known pieces of art from the southern Sahara. It managed to survive unharmed for more than 2,600 years only to be accidentally shattered by a photographer during a shoot for Art+Auction magazine in May 2011.

  6.  Elbow Room

    Elbow Room

    In 2006, casino magnate Steve Wynn agreed to sell his prized Picasso painting Le Rêve to hedge fund manager Steven Cohen for $139 million. A few days before the painting was set to exchange hands, Wynn took it out to show it to some friends—including Nora Ephron and Barbara Walters—and as he was explaining the painting's history, he hit it with his elbow. Le Rêve suffered a two-inch tear, just enough for someone to shove a pinkie through (which Wynn reportedly did as he inspected the damage). Art restorers mended the painting, but the deal was off. Wynn is said to still own Le Rêve.

  7. Like Father Like Son

    Like Father Like Son

    The proud father of an Alabama football player couldn't contain his joy over his son's team's win over LSU in the BCS National Championship this year—literally. He tripped over a rug in the Crimson Tide's football facility and knocked the $30,000 Waterford Crystal trophy off its pedestal. That's not the first time a school's football award has met an early demise; University of Florida's 2006 championship trophy was also knocked to the ground. And in 2004, two trophies were stolen from Florida State. Then again, what do you expect from college kids?

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