LONDON-An art critic has apologised for accidentally destroying an installation at a prestigious art fair in Mexico.

Avelina Lésper placed an empty drinks can near the work to show her disapproval when it shattered.

The installation, by Mexican artist Gabriel Rico, was on display at the OMR Gallery in Mexico City.

The work consisted of a large pane of glass with random objects such as a football and a feather inside and is worth an estimated $20,000 (£15,400).

Ms Lésper has said sorry for the “lamentable incident” at the Zona Maco fair on Saturday, which she insisted “wasn’t intentional”.

“It was like the work had heard my comment and had felt what I thought of it”, she said in a video statement shared by Milenio, a Mexican newspaper that publishes her columns.

In a statement posted to Instagram, the gallery said the destruction of the artwork appeared to be an accident, but criticised Ms Lésper’s behaviour as unprofessional.

“Lésper coming too close to the work to place a soda can on it and take a picture as criticism without a doubt caused the destruction,” the gallery said. But Ecuadorean painter Pavel Égüez, who witnessed the incident, defended Ms Lésper, saying she did not touch the artwork.

It is not clear if the gallery intends to ask Ms Lésper to pay for the broken artwork. OMR Gallery said it will decide “what is appropriate” after talks with the artist and the fair.

Ms Lésper says she offered to repair the artwork, titled Nimble and Sinister Tricks (To Be Preserved Without Scandal and Corruption).

The artist is yet to comment on the incident. OMR Gallery said his work was highly sought-after by collectors and institutions.