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attacks on antiques

Gauguin painting in Washington DC attacked by woman

A woman who attacked a painting by Paul Gauguin hanging in the National Gallery in Washington DC said the French artist was “evil”, court records show.

Susan Burns pounded Two Tahitian Women and tried to rip it from a gallery wall on Friday, officials said.The 1899 painting, which depicts two women’s bare breasts, was behind a plastic cover and was unharmed.She was charged with attempted theft and destruction of property and is being held pending a mental evaluation.On Friday afternoon a woman slammed her hands against the plexiglass cover between the canvas and the frame.

‘Beautiful, mysterious women’
A museum security officer intervened and restrained and detained her.

Ms Burns later told police she thought the painting should be burned, according to court records viewed by the Associated Press.The 94cm by 75.4cm (37in by 30in) oil-on-canvas painting is on loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. It is expected to go back on display on Tuesday morning, National Gallery spokeswoman Deborah Ziska told the BBC.The work depicts two serene, golden-skinned Tahitian women offering a bowl of flowers.”The painting captures Gauguin’s mythical idea of Tahiti as a paradise of beautiful, mysterious women,” museum curators write.The incident was the first act of vandalism at the museum since the 1970s, when over the course of about five years, one man destroyed a Renaissance-era chair and another defaced 25 works, including by Renoir and Henri Matisse, with a “sharp object”, Ms Ziska said.Scream painting back on display

The Munch Museum says it has ramped up security for The Scream
Edvard Munch’s The Scream, damaged by armed robbers who took the masterpiece in 2004, is back on display in a Norwegian museum.
The expressionist painting, which has been restored by experts, was recovered in August 2006. It had been damaged when it was pulled out of its frame.
It is being shown complete with a damp spot in the lower left hand corner.
The Scream was taken alongside the artist’s Madonna, which is also back on display at Oslo’s Munch Museum.
The museum says it has increased security for the Scream and Madonna – Revisited exhibition, which will run until 26 September.

It was a challenge because we didn’t know anything about what these two paintings had been through
Mette Havrevold
Restoration expert
Mette Havrevold, head of Oslo city’s art conservation department, said the process of restoring the paintings had been a meticulous one.
“It was a challenge because we didn’t know anything about what these two paintings had been through,” she said.
“There were a lot of unknowns, in particular about where the humidity stain [in the bottom corner] came from.”
She said that, as she and her team were not certain they could repair the stain, it would remain because “it would be stupid to do something that would worsen the damage”.
Ripped canvas
Unveiling the paintings to reporters on Wednesday, museum chief Ingebjoerg Ydstie said it was now thought The Scream had been painted in 1910 – not in 1893 as was previously thought.
“Written sources, combined with style studies and, to a certain extent, technical observations made during the restoration of the painting, point to a more recent dating,” she added.

Click to play
The theft and restoration of Edvard Munch’s most famous painting

The Scream and Madonna were stolen by two armed men who threatened a member of staff before ripping the paintings off the wall.
It is believed they later ripped the paintings out of their frames because they thought they could contain tracking devices.
The Madonna painting suffered worse damage than The Scream, including a ripped canvas.
Madonna, shown as a nude woman with long, dark hair, will undergo further restoration when the exhibition ends.
Three men were jailed last April for the robbery.
But one, Bjoern Hoen, had his conviction overturned by the Norwegian Supreme Court in January because of procedural lapses.
The Scream – one of the world’s most recognisable images – and Madonna were part of Munch’s Frieze of Life series in which sickness, death, anxiety and love were central themes. The artist was a major influence in the modern expressionist movement and died in 1944 at the age of 80

Picasso painting ripped by New York woman’s fall

The painting should be repaired in time for an April exhibition. A woman who was taking an art class at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art has accidentally fallen into a Picasso painting and damaged it.The painting called The Actor sustained a vertical tear of about six inches (15cm) in the lower right-hand corner. But the damage did not affect the “focal point of the composition” and should be repaired for an exhibition later this year, the museum said.The work from the Rose period was painted in the winter of 1904-1905.The repair should be completed in time for the Picasso in the Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition, which will feature some 250 works from the museum’s collection and is due to open at the end of April. The unusually large canvas, measuring 6ft by 4ft (1.8m by 1.2m) and which depicts an acrobat posed against an abstracted backdrop, was damaged on Friday
Visitor ‘censors’ nude painting

The artist has asked the offender to tell him the reason for his actions
A visitor to an art gallery censored a male nude painting by sticking a piece of black paper over the offending area.
The vandal, who was caught on CCTV, defaced an oil painting entitled Male Nude by David Cobley at Bath’s Victoria Art Gallery.

Gallery bosses called the act a “premeditated attack” and said the glue used had damaged the art work.But the artist has called on the offender to come forward to talk about nudity in art.Cobley, a renowned portrait-painter whose subjects include the Princess Royal, has invited his “critic” to get in touch for a discussion on art.I never had anything like this before – but then I’ve never really painted a nude man with legs akimbo
David Cobley, ArtistThe 12in (30cm) square oil painting was hanging in an exhibition of the artist’s works when it was attacked shortly before the exhibition closed on Thursday afternoon.The man responsible has not been traced or reported to the police.Victoria Art Gallery manager Jon Bennington said: “The painting has been damaged as the glue used to adhere the paper to the canvas will leave a tacky residue.”This is a premeditated attack on the picture; whoever vandalised it came armed with ready cut-out paper and their own glue, determined to censor the painting.”

Artist ‘chat’

The artist said the vandal should have discussed his objections to the painting with someone at the gallery and described his actions as childish.But he stressed he would still like to talk to him about his portrait.”I’d like them to come forward and let’s have a chat.”I’d like to find out why they did this and talk to them about why they find it so bad they have to do this.”If the person were offended – there were lots of things they could have done, spoken to the gallery or me.”I never had anything like this before – but then I’ve never really painted a nude man with legs akimbo so maybe that’s why.”He said he hoped it would generate “some good discussion about art”.”I’m just curious to know why they did it. He, or she, should come forward and explain themselves.”


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