Argentina: La Demanda por el Boccioni fue Bochada

Last Updated: 28 April 2017
Article by Juan Javier Negri

Desprolijidades ocurren en todas partes (hasta en los museos); a veces tienen serias consecuencias.

Umberto Boccioni (1882-1916) fue el miembro más destacado del "futurismo", movimiento artístico que tuvo su apogeo en Italia al comenzar el siglo XX.

Postulaba la liberación de los modelos figurativos para permitir así que el arte se concentrara en el movimiento y la velocidad propios del mundo contemporáneo; en la vibración y el crecimiento exponencial de las ciudades y en el caos subsiguiente. El futurismo pretendió "retratar" o fijar la velocidad y el movimiento en la pintura y la escultura, que, por definición, son estáticas.

Una de las obras más significativas de Boccioni es la escultura llamada "Formas únicas de la continuidad del espacio", de 1913, de un poco más de un metro de alto y 90cm de largo, que representa algo así como una imagen humana flameando por el viento. A partir de la muerte del artista se hicieron varias fundiciones en bronce; cuatro a partir del yeso original (dos ahora en Nueva York y otras en Londres y San Pablo) y dos a partir del bronce exhibido en esta última ciudad, que están en Los Ángeles y en Milán.

La obra es tan significativa e icónica que aparece reproducida en la moneda de veinte centésimos de euro.

El caso que consideramos hoy se refiere al ejemplar de "Formas únicas..." que se encuentra en Milán.

Como parte de un festival artístico llamado "Europalia 2003" se organizó una muestra llamada "Futurismo 1909-1926: la belleza de la velocidad" en el museo de Ixelles, en Bélgica. La municipalidad de Milán prestó cinco obras de Boccioni para que fueran exhibidas allí; entre ellas, "Formas únicas...".

Durante la exhibición, un empleado del museo se tropezó con el pedestal de la obra, y ésta cayó al suelo, dañándose.

Luego de la exposición en Bélgica, el bronce fue restaurado y exhibido en Roma. Al volver a Milán, las autoridades municipales demandaron a la comuna de Ixelles, al museo de esa ciudad y al Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores de Italia (involucrado en la organización de la muestra) por los daños que la escultura había sufrido a raíz de la caída.

Las pericias llevadas a cabo sobre la obra —acompañadas como prueba por la municipalidad de Milán— determinaron que los daños superaban los cuatro millones de euros.

Luego de siete años de pleito, el pasado 20 de marzo los tribunales de Milán rechazaron la demanda1.

¿Cuál fue la razón del rechazo? Que las autoridades no lograron demostrar qué pérdida había sufrido la municipalidad a raíz de los daños causados a la escultura, "al no poder adherir al argumento de que el daño sufrido por una obra de arte tenga un valor económico por sí mismo apodícticamente individualizable".

Si nos quejamos de que los tribunales argentinos son lentos y escriben "en difícil", seguramente podremos sentirnos consolados.

¿Qué quiere decir "apodícticamente individualizable? Lo apodíctico es aquello que es incondicionalmente cierto o es necesariamente válido y cuya veracidad se demuestra mediante el solo razonamiento, sin necesidad de recurrir a pruebas empíricas. En otras palabras, un dato de la realidad, como que el sol calienta y de noche no se lo puede ver.

En la opinión del tribunal italiano, no bastaba una magulladura en la obra de arte para que ocurriera, como consecuencia, una pérdida económica cuya existencia no mereciera ser probada. El razonamiento no es novedoso y está en la base misma del sistema de reparación del daño de los países cuyo derecho se basa en el Código ancés: el hecho antijurídico (la rotura de la escultura) para ser indemnizado exige que se lo asocie con un daño demostrado y cuantificado. No hay indemnización sin daño.

Para el tribunal, varios pudieron ser los indicios necesarios para valuar el daño patrimonial sufrido por la municipalidad como consecuencia de lo ocurrido. Pero, no obstante, la demandante "no documentó los gastos de restauración soportados por la comuna ni produjo un análisis de su balance del cual se pudiera deducir la existencia de una disminución de su patrimonio".

El juez entendió que, no obstante la penosa caída, "la disponibilidad pública de la obra de arte no estaba ni mínimamente comprometida". Más aun: luego del incidente, la escultura fue exhibida en numerosos museos y exposiciones, entre las que se destacó una dedicada al propio Boccioni que tuvo lugar en el Palacio Real de Milán entre marzo y julio de 2016. De allí fue trasladada a un museo en Rovereto lo cual, para el tribunal, demostró "la movilidad" de la obra.

La sentencia destacó que, en 2003, al momento de efectuarse el préstamo de la escultura al museo de Ixelles, la municipalidad de Milán no había preparado un cuadro diagnóstico sobre la pieza que sirviera para determinar las condiciones anteriores a la caída. (La sentencia usó la expresión inglesa "status report", que podríamos traducir liberalmente como "un estado de situación"). Antes bien, la comuna sólo había preparado una nota en la que constaba que la obra de arte se encontraba "en buen estado".

Para llegar a su decisión, el juez tuvo en cuenta que la preparación de un "status report" acerca de las condiciones en que se encuentra una obra de arte es parte de los usos y costumbres en ocasión del transporte y préstamo de ese tipo de bienes.

Debemos aclarar que no obstante el uso de la expresión "préstamo", el contrato por el cual "una parte se obliga a entregar a otra una cosa no fungible, mueble o inmueble, para que se sirva gratuitamente de ella y restituya la misma cosa recibida" se llama técnicamente comodato (artículo 1533, Código Civil y Comercial).

Bajo el derecho argentino, quien recibe una cosa en comodato "debe conservarla con prudencia y diligencia y responder por [su] pérdida o deterioro, incluso causados por caso fortuito, excepto que pruebe que habrían ocurrido igualmente si la cosa hubiera estado en poder del comodante" — esto es, de quien la entregó—.

¿La cuestión se hubiera resuelto de la misma manera en la Argentina? Sí, porque lo que nuestro Código dice es que quien recibe la cosa responde por su pérdida o deterioro, pero eso no exime de tener que demostrar el daño causado por esa pérdida o deterioro.

Debe resaltarse la importancia que la sentencia dio a los usos y costumbres para resolver la cuestión, al poner de relieve que la Comuna de Milán actuó con negligencia al omitir un recaudo habitual en este tipo de actividades culturales.

Pero, aun cuando esos usos y costumbres no existieran, debe recordarse que hay culpa cuando se omite "la diligencia debida según la naturaleza de la obligación y las circunstancias de las personas, el tiempo y el lugar. [La culpa] comprende la imprudencia, la negligencia y la impericia en el arte o profesión". En otras palabras,

¿pudo un museo, depositario público de obras de arte de enorme valor, prestar, sin más, una de ellas sin hacer un análisis previo y detallado del estado en que la entregaba? Hubo, claramente, una negligencia culpable.

El juez agregó a sus argumentos un ingrediente complejo: la obra de arte no estaba en el comercio, porque era de propiedad pública. En consecuencia, si bien la existencia del daño intrínseco (la magulladura) era demostrable, mucho más complejo debería ser probar el perjuicio sufrido por un objeto que, por definición, no tiene valor de mercado. Esto nos lleva a otro tema más filosófico (¿cuánto "vale" la Gioconda?) para analizar en otros ámbitos.

Curiosamente, hoy (28 de marzo) los diarios argentinos mencionan que "Bosque de esponjas", una escultura del francés Yves Klein (1928-1962), a punto de exponerse en Buenos Aires, cayó de su pedestal y espera ahora la verificación de la empresa aseguradora para reparar el daño.

El "status report" volverá a ser relevante...

Footnote

1 http://www.ilsole24ore.com/art/arteconomy/2017-03-24/danno-boccioni-nessun-risarcimento-il-comune-milano-165344.shtml?uuid=AETqv2r

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