Monday, October 15, 2007

"Even in plain daylight, the French cannot be trusted with their cultural treasures"

Benjamin Ivry has some further details on one of several recent cases of art vandalism in France:

"On November 16, a verdict will be handed down in the much-publicized trial of Rindy Sam, a Frenchwoman who identifies herself as an artist. Last July, Ms. Sam kissed a painting by American modernist Cy Twombly, which resides in a special collection at Avignon’s Museum of Contemporary Art. Ms. Sam smeared the white canvas with lipstick. Since her oral tribute, museum technicians have been unable to remove the lipstick stain from the canvas, previously valued at $2.8 million. Ms. Sam has explained that all she did was offer a kiss as a 'gesture of love.' The museum and the collector who retains ownership of the painting are not endeared, demanding compensation to the tune of over 30,000 and 2 million euros respectively. Additionally, a prosecutor wants to fine Ms. Sam 4,500 euros for her action. Only Twombly himself ... has kept his compensation demand to the scale of a state fair kissing booth, asking for just a single euro as 'symbolic' reparation."