From Rothko to Leonardo
Previous artworks that have been vandalised include:
Black on Maroon, Mark Rothko
A five-metre abstract mural by the US artist was defaced in Tate Modern by a Polish man, Wlodzimierz Umaniec, who wrote in a corner of the painting. He said it was an act of “yellowism”, committed to engage with modern art. He was jailed for two years.
Fountain, Marcel Duchamp
A version of Duchamp’s porcelain urinal, considered a key work of early modern art, was attacked with a hammer at the Pompidou Centre in Paris in 2006. The culprit, 77-year-old Pierre Pinoncelli, said the attack was a work of performance art. A judge disagreed and fined him €214,000 (£147,000). Pinoncelli had previously urinated on another version of Fountain.
Rokeby Venus, Velázquez
The suffragette Mary Richardson attacked the nude portrait with a meat cleaver at the National Gallery in 1914, causing seven cuts to the canvas. She said it was an act of protest over the arrest the previous day of Emmeline Pankhurst.
Mona Lisa, Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo’s portrait was attacked in the Louvre, Paris, twice in one year in 1956: first, it had acid thrown at it, and then an unnamed Bolivian threw a rock at it, chipping the paint on her left elbow. In 2009 the painting – now shielded behind bullet-proof glass – had a mug thrown at it by a Russian woman.
The Little Mermaid, Edvard Eriksen
The Copenhagen tourist attraction (left) has been vandalised on multiple occasions. Damage has included graffiti, loss of an arm and two beheadings.