Monday, October 08, 2007

Vandalized (UPDATED)

From tomorrow morning's New York Times:

"Intruders broke into the Musée d’Orsay early Sunday and one of them damaged a work by ... Claude Monet, the latest in a series of acts of vandalism and thefts at cultural sites in France. Christine Albanel, the minister of culture, said the intruders left a tear close to four inches long in the painting 'The Argenteuil Bridge,' from 1874. ... She said the intruders, believed to be four men and a woman, appeared drunk and 'left various bits of filth' before 'one of them stuck a fist into the magnificent masterpiece by Monet.' The alarms sounded and museum personnel arrived quickly, but the intruders were able to flee, Ms. Albanel said."

Lee Rosenbaum has some suggestions for Ms. Albanel: "How about toughening security, so that drunken revelers can't so easily enter one of France's premier art museums, let alone manage to vandalize a masterpiece and escape, despite the sounding of an alarm?"

UPDATE: Callen Bair spots an "embarrassing" trend:

"In August, thieves raided the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Nice and made off with four canvases, including Monet's Cliffs near Dieppe and Alfred Sisley's The Lane of Poplars at Moret. It wasn't the first time these paintings had been lifted: The Monet and Sisley were stolen from the same museum in 1998 in a heist masterminded by its own curator and two accomplices; the Sisley had also been taken from Marseille twenty years earlier. August's theft was not even a month after a woman kissed a Cy Twombly painting on view at the Collection Lambert in Avignon, leaving a lipstick smudge on the white canvas .... And last year a man assaulted a reproduction of Marcel Duchamp's original urinal from 1917 with a hammer at the Pompidou Centre after urinating on the same piece at an exhibition in 1993 ...."