Gauguin Painting Attacked By Lunatic In Washington
A key Post Impressionist painting by Artist Paul Gauguin, valued at over 100 million pounds was attacked and pulled from the wall by a mentally ill woman, on Friday, in Washington DC. The work which was the centerpiece of the Gauguin exhibition, "Gauguin: Maker of Myth." which traveled from Tate Modern in London had recently been installed at the National Gallery in the US capital. The painting titled "Two Tahitian Women" was Lent by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY and a gift of William Church Osborn in 1949. It is a classic example and one of the most iconic by the artist.
The frenzied attack lasted only seconds and security was swift to stop the woman before it was damaged. She has been named as, Susan Burns, 53, of Arlington, Va. The diluted woman surprised gallery goers by shouting ,"I feel that Gauguin is evil. He has nudity and is bad for the children. He has two women in the painting and it's very homosexual. I am trying to remove it. I think it should be burned," according to the report she pounded on the painting which was protected by plexiglas. Burns added "I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you." She is now being held without bail, pending a mental health hearing Today. Burns is known to the police and has been arrested several times. She served six months in jail after a 2006 conviction for assault and battery on a police officer. In 2002, she was convicted of misdemeanor trespassing.
This is another rare example where art has been attacked by the public. In 1972 LASZLO TOTH, damaged Michelangelo's Pieta, he shouted "I am Jesus Christ - risen from the dead." as he smashed the statue with a hammer on 21 May 1972 but was never charged with a criminal offence. In 1975, an unemployed schoolteacher named Wilhelmus de Rijk walked into Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum and slashed Rembrandt’s "The Night Watch" with a bread knife a dozen times while declaring, “I have been sent by the Lord! I have been forced to do this by forces out of this Earth!”.
The Gauguin exhibition continues at Washington's National Gallery until 5 June 2011 photo© ArtLyst 2011
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