From Rothko to Leonardo

Art at­tacks

The Guardian - - NEWS -

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.

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