That guest was none other than the son-in-law of President Richard Nixon, Edward Cox, who serves as chairman of the New York Republican Party.
The event, hosted by Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan on Thursday, was designed to discuss the importance of restoring the art and artifacts of New York City's St. Patrick’s Cathedral. According to a story by the New York Post, Home Depot co-founder Kenneth Langone was among the attendees.
Moynihan kicked things off by announcing a $1 million commitment from the Charlotte-based bank to restore one of the cathedral's prominent stained-glass windows.The bank made the donation as part of its ongoing art-conservation efforts.
But the room's attention was abruptly shifted by a crashing sound when Cox knocked over the vase. Here is an excerpt from the New York Post story:
... a witness reports, “the peace was shattered when Ed Cox accidentally knocked over a 4-foot-tall antique vase in the center of the room. It fell to the floor and shattered with a terrible, piercing, sound which stopped the entire room.” The source added, “Ed nervously tried to edge away from the wreckage while the event staff looked mortified." ...
A Bank of America spokesman tells the Observer the vase was worth $3,600 and made in 2007.
David Laska, a spokesman for Cox, confirmed the incident in a statement to the Post:
"The vase was placed on a very small table, and after it broke, Bank of America officials apologized to Mr. Cox. They said this had happened before — other items that were placed on that table had previously been broken.
“No one is ever happy when a vase falls and breaks, especially a nice vase. But they did not ask him to pay for the item. They acknowledged the placement of the vase was ill-advised.”