Top 11 Most Horribly Defaced Art Pieces of All Time Artwork
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Top 11 Most Horribly Defaced Art Pieces of All Time

Everyone's a critic. But whether one loves or abhors a piece of art, most people still respect the work enough to leave it intact. Not in these cases. This list of the top 10 most unbelievable defilements contains the funniest, most shocking, and just plain weirdest defacements ever to occur in the art world.

Over the years, art vandals have used hammers, cleavers, paint, acid, fists, and even hot tea to maim famous paintings and sculptures. One Denver woman actually used her bare rear end.

In most cases, the art is restorable. In fact, some say that vandalism adds to a piece's history and winds up a part of the work itself.

Check out more lists like the greatest Baroque artists in history, famous Impressionist artists and the best Art Noveau artists

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  1. 7

    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.

  2. 8

    Mona Lisa Attacked with Acid, A Rock, Red Paint and Hot Tea

    Leonardo 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...

  3. 9

    Michaelangelo’s "Pieta" Attacked with Hammer

    One 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.

  4. 10

    The Scream Stolen, Twice

    The 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.

  5. 11

    Denmark's Little Mermaid Beheaded, Blown Away, and Painted On

    The famous "Little Mermaid" statue in Denmark, a Copenhagen landmark, has seen her fair share of vandalism over the years. The latest incident occurred in May of 2007, when the piece was doused in red paint that covered the mermaid's face, lap and arm. The unknown vandals left behind a wooden picture frame with the word "AV," which means "ouch" in Danish. This was just months after the statue was painted over in pink in another defacing incident.

    In 2003, the "Little Mermaid" had been blown clear off of her rocky perch with explosives. She has also been decapitated multiple times.

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