Man held after Constable's The Hay Wain attacked by protester in the National Gallery

 

Constable's masterpiece The Hay Wain has been attacked by a protester in the National Gallery.

A man is in custody at a London police station after being arrested at the Trafalgar Square gallery shortly after 1pm, Scotland Yard said.

The protester, thought to be linked to Fathers4Justice, glued a four-inch photograph of a young boy to the 1821 painting in room 34 but did no lasting damage to the work of art, a gallery spokeswoman said.

It comes as Fathers4Justice said it was abandoning its five-year "attempted engagement with the political establishment" and called on fathers to take "independent weekly direct action" in the spirit of the Suffragettes 100 years ago.

The gallery spokeswoman said: "Conservation staff were on the scene very rapidly and the painting was removed for treatment.

"No damage to Constable's original paint occurred and there is no lasting damage to the painting."

She added that the picture was due to to back on display this evening.

The Hay Wain is one of the country's most recognisable works of art.

John Constable's oil painting shows an idyllic rural scene with a cart - the eponymous hay wain - in the river Stour in Suffolk.

The national gallery spokeswoman said it would investigate the security breach but praised "the prompt action and quick thinking" of staff who intervened before any more lasting damage could be done.

The attack on the painting came as a Fathers4Justice campaigner appeared in court accused of vandalising a portrait of the Queen in Westminster Abbey.

Tim Haries, 41, from Doncaster in South Yorkshire, appeared at Southwark Crown Court in London today charged with criminal damage to the Ralph Heimans canvas, which was daubed with spray paint on June 13.

He was bailed to appear at the court again in September.

Fathers4Justice said today that from now on it was refusing to engage with government, police, courts, the judiciary and any other organisations involved in family law.

Instead it said it wants fathers to take direct action in "an attempt to defend themselves and the 1,000 families a week destroyed in the secret family courts"

It also said it was considering closing down all its social media outlets and was refusing to deal with the national media because of its "deliberately inaccurate and misleading reporting of the campaign and the crisis in the family courts".

"We have reached a tipping point in the campaign," a spokeswoman said.

"For every 1,000 families destroyed each week in the family courts, fathers should respond in kind with peaceful non-violent direct action, by either writing 'help' or placing pictures of their children in significant places where they are visible to the world."

"We can no longer stem the tide of desperation and anger of fathers who have had their families destroyed and their hopes betrayed by a government that promised equal parenting but only delivered desperation."

"Fathers have a duty of care to protect themselves and their families and give themselves a voice which the politicians and media have denied them for over a decade."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Feeling all at sea: Barbara's 18-year-old son came under the influence of a Canadian libertarian preacher – and she had to fight to win him back
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Living the high life: Anne Robinson enjoys some skip-surfed soup
TV review
Arts and Entertainment

Great British Bake Off
Arts and Entertainment
Doctor Who and Missy in the Doctor Who series 8 finale

TV
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Chvrches lead singer Lauren Mayberry in the band's new video 'Leave a Trace'

music
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Home on the raunch: George Bisset (Aneurin Barnard), Lady Seymour Worsley (Natalie Dormer) and Richard Worsley (Shaun Evans)

TV review
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers

Strictly
Arts and Entertainment
NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton

film
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dormer as Margaery Tyrell and Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones
Arts and Entertainment
New book 'The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep' by Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin

books
Arts and Entertainment
Calvi is not afraid of exploring the deep stuff: loneliness, anxiety, identity, reinvention
music
Arts and Entertainment
Edinburgh solo performers Neil James and Jessica Sherr
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
If a deal to buy tBeats, founded by hip-hop star Dr Dre (pictured) and music producer Jimmy Iovine went through, it would be Apple’s biggest ever acquisition

album review
Arts and Entertainment
Paloma Faith is joining The Voice as a new coach

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Dowton Abbey has been pulling in 'telly tourists', who are visiting Highclere House in Berkshire

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Patriot games: Vic Reeves featured in ‘Very British Problems’
TV review
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones