LONDON (AP) — British police on Tuesday charged a 26-year-old Polish national with vandalizing a priceless Mark Rothko work at the Tate Modern museum, an act that caused a minor stir in the U.K. art world.
Scotland Yard said in a statement that Wlodzimierz Umaniec would appear at south London Camberwell Green Magistrates’ Court in south London court on Wednesday charged with one count of “criminal damage in excess of 5,000 pounds (about $8,000).”
Umaniec, who also went by the name Vladimir Umanets, was arrested after patrons discovered a scrawl across the bottom of a Rothko mural on Sunday.
The Russian-born Rothko was a leading figure in American abstract painting, renowned for large-scale works featuring bold blocks of color, and the vandalism angered many.
The artist’s children, Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko, said in a statement that they were “greatly troubled” by the incident.
While the Tate Modern has said it does not have a price for the defaced piece, another Rothko piece — “Orange, Red, Yellow” — sold for almost $87 million at auction in New York.
This is not the first time an artwork at Tate Modern has been interfered with. In 2000, two Chinese performance artists attempted to urinate on Marcel Duchamp’s urinal sculpture “Fountain.”
More Related Stories
- Stop what you're doing and go watch "Borgen"
- Teenage girl claims she was beaten up for looking like Taylor Swift
- Mike Judge: "Bowling for Columbine" made me pro-gun
- New York chef serves up eight-course meal around "Arrested Development" jokes
- HLN: Jodi Arias "pleading for her life" got us a ratings win!
- Michael Ian Black on Maron feud: He "considered me a poseur"
- Chekhov's story mirrors Russia's own
- Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina denied parole
- Joe Francis apologizes for calling jury "retarded"
- Mary Karr: David Foster Wallace and I kept each other alive
- Morgan Freeman sleeps during televised interview
- J.J. Abrams reveals deleted shower scene with Benedict Cumberbatch
- Is the anti-gay backlash on?
- Paul McCartney backs Pussy Riot
- Cannes: Ryan Gosling's new movie draws the boo-birds
- Radio host tweets rape joke, blames journalists for reporting on it
- Juror responds to Joe Francis' insults with thoughtful email
- New track from the Lonely Island features Solange Knowles, semicolons
- Amazon introduces fan fiction publishing platform
- Naomi Watts, "Argo," "Wonderstone" among bizarre Teen Choice Awards nominees
- Imprisoned Pussy Riot member declares hunger strike
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11