Friday, October 12, 2007

An object of public usefulness

A Paris court filed preliminary charges Thursday against five young people suspected of having vandalized a renowned work by painter Claude Monet, judicial officials said."Le Pont d'Argenteuil" was damaged Sunday when intruders, apparently drunk, broke into Paris' Orsay Museum and punched a 4-inch tear into the canvas.
The five suspects four men and one woman, all either 18 or 19 years old were detained on Tuesday, judicial officials said.
Judicial officials said one of the suspects acknowledged having punched the painting and faces the preliminarily charge of damaging an object of public usefulness. They said all five face preliminary charges of destruction for having forced open a door to the museum.The intruders wandered around the museum's ground floor, where the Monet painting was hanging, until an alarm sounded. Before fleeing, one of them punched the painting, officials said.The break-in occurred during Paris' annual all-night festival, which brings thousands of people into the streets for concerts and exhibits.Monet led the 19th century Impressionist movement, experimenting notably with light and color in works now deemed priceless.
"Le Pont d'Argenteuil" shows a view of the Seine at a rural bend, featuring a bridge and boats.Speaking on Sunday, French Culture Minister Christine Albanel said the painting could be restored but deplored the damage.(via Yahoo)

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  1. AVIGNON, France - A woman who planted a lipstick-laden kiss on an all-white painting by the American artist Cy Twombly went on trial Tuesday, telling the court she had committed an “act of love” — not a crime.

    Rindy Sam, a 30-year-old French artist, faced charges of “voluntarily damaging a work of art.” The painting is worth an estimated $2,830,000 and restorers have tried to remove the lipstick smudge from the bone-white canvas using nearly 30 products — to no avail.

    “I didn’t think. When I kissed it, I thought the artist would have understood,” Sam told the court in the southern French city of Avignon, describing it as “an act of love.”

    Prosecutors, however, want Sam to pay a $6,400 fine and take a class on good citizenship. The verdict was set for Nov. 16.

    Sam was taken into custody after she kissed the painting July 19. It was part of a traveling exhibition on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Avignon.

    The painting is owned by collector Yvon Lambert. He was asking for $2,878,000 in damages, which included the value of the painting and the $47,000 restoration cost.

    Twombly is known for his abstract paintings combining painting and drawing techniques, repetitive lines and the use of graffiti, letters and words.

    Born in Lexington, Va., in 1928, Twombly has lived in Italy for nearly a half-century. He won the prestigious Golden Lion award at the Venice Biennale in 2001.(ap)