Delacroix Liberty painting defaced by woman with marker pen at Louvre exhibition
A woman was seized by security guards after using marker pen to deface one of the most famous paintings by Eugene Delacroix at an exhibition in northern France.
The woman, 28, wrote an inscription in marker on the French Romantic artist's most recognisable painting "La Liberté guidant le peuple" or "Liberty Leading the People".
She was intercepted by a guard and another visitor before being handed over to police.
A statement from the Louvre-Lens, an extension of the famous Paris-based Louvre which only opened last December, where the incident took place, said the painting "could be easily cleaned" and is being examined by a restorer.
A report in Le Figaro newspaper claims the woman wrote "AE911" near the bottom of the canvas which is alleged by unnamed sources quoted in the French press to be a reference to a 9/11 conspiracy theory.
Before France switched to the Euro Delacroix's painting featured on the 100 franc banknote.
"Liberty Leading the People" is on loan to Louvre-Lens for a year. The work, which depicts a bare-chested woman holding the French flag during the July Revolution of 1830, is thought to have inspired the Statue of Liberty.
It is the latest in a series of high profile defacements of public art. In December Wlodzimierz Umaniec, 26, was jailed for two years for vandalising a painting by Mark Rothko worth £9 million in the name of his yellowist movement at the Tate Modern gallery, London.
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Germany sees 'visible rise' in support for far-right extremism in response to perceived 'Islamisation' of the West