Vandal defaces Picasso painting

19 June 2012

An iPhone footage, taken by a stunned museum goer, captures the moment a vandal defaced Pablo Picasso's 1929 artwork 'Woman in a Red Armchair'.

The vandalism happened on June 13 at the Menil Collection, a museum in Houston, where the painting is one of nine Picassos.

The video shows a young man walk up to the famous painting and use a stencil to spray-paint a bull in its centre before fleeing the room. Underneath the bull, which is painted in gold, the graffiti artist sprayed the word 'Conquista'.

The man who took the video did not want to be identified. He said he confronted the man after he witnessed him spray-paint it and asked him why he did it. According to the witnesses, the vandal said he was an up-and-coming artist and he did it to honor Picasso's work.

Menil Collection spokesperson Vance Muse said that museum security officers almost immediately detected the vandalism and that the museum's chief conservator was able to begin repair work before the paint was dry. The museum hopes to have the painting back on the wall later this week.

So far, no criminal charges have been filed in the case.

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