Banksy Vs. King RobboNow-mainstream street artist Banksy apparently has a running feud with King Robbo, who is credited with founding the London graffiti scene. In October, 2011, one of Banksy's pieces in Bristol was painted over in solid black, along with the tagging "Team Robbo." The piece, which featured a child standing behind a police officer with a blown-up paper bag, ready to burst it, had been in place for four years above a store in Bristol. It is unclear whether or not it will be restored.
It is not quite clear who defaced Banksy's work. King Robbo is said to be retired, and the act could have been committed by him or by one of his followers. Robbo and Banksy (or perhaps their fans – hard to know given the elusive nature of the genre) have been defacing each other's work for the past two years.
Woman Attacks Gauguin's Two Tahitian Women
On April Fool's Day of 2011, a 53-year-old Tea Party member Susan Burns paid a visit to the National Gallery of Art in Washington and strolled in to the "Gauguin" display. When she came upon the painting "Two Tahitian Women," she broke into a fury and attacked the piece, trying to wrench it off of the wall and punching it.
The painting, covered by Plexi-glass, was not harmed. However, police arrested Burns for her actions. She later stated that she thought Gaugin was evil and denounced the painting, which portrays two topless women, for having homosexual overtones. "I was trying to remove it. I think it should be burned," she claimed. Tea partiers are crazy.
Mona Lisa Attacked with Acid, A Rock, Red Paint and Hot TeaLeonardo Da Vinci's most famous painting, the "Mona Lisa," has seen more than its fair share of defacement. In 1956, the lower half of the masterpiece was seriously damaged when someone threw acid at the portrait. Later that same year, a Bolivian man named Ugo Ungaza threw a rock at the work, chipping the paint on the woman's left elbow.
The "Mona Lisa" was restored, and was eventually placed behind bulletproof glass. However, that did not stop people from attempting to inflict more damage. In 1974, a handicapped woman who was angered by the disabled-persons' policy of the Tokyo National Museum, where the painting was on display, and attacked it with red spray paint. In August of 2009, a Russian woman who was upset about being denied French citizenship hurled a cup of hot tea at the work.
It's just another case of how hard it is being the most beautiful woman in the world. If only people threw rocks and coffee on other so called "beauties" like Kim Kardashian...
Michaelangelo’s "Pieta" Attacked with HammerOne day in 1972, a geologist named Laszlo Toth strolled into St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City wielding a hammer. He headed to Michaelangelo's famous marble sculpture of Jesus and Mary, "Pieta," and proceeded to whack at the piece with all of his might. He succeeded in chopping off Mary's forearm, removing part of her nose, and damaging one of her eyelids.
It is unclear why Laszio committed such violence against art, though it is assumed that he is not a fan of the Bible or marble. "Pieta" was restored, and bulletproof glass was placed around the statue to avoid any further damage.
The Scream Stolen, TwiceThe first theft of "The Scream" occurred at the National Gallery on opening day of the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer. In a scene straight out of Thomas Crown Affair or Ocean's 11, four men broke in, took the painting, and left behind a note that said "Thanks for the poor security." They requested a $1 million ransom; the gallery refused, and eventually all were caught and the painting recovered. The art-nappers were charged with theft, but won an appeal because of illegal acts by British sting agents.
The second theft, of a different version of the painting, occurred at the Munch Museum in Oslo in 2004. Masked gunmen absconded with "The Scream" as well as Munch's "Madonna" painting. Both were found with reparable damage two years later.
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