Rubens' masterpiece inspires student's junk 'Massacre'

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The Independent Online

The original is the world's most expensive painting. The new version is made from 300 white tiles, 200 bars of soap, 80kg (175lb) of grout, 15 bath towels and two large mirrors. It is undoubtedly too early to tell whether Peter Maltz's student interpretation of Rubens' masterpieceThe Massacre of the Innocents will ever make £49.5m as the old master did at auction two years ago.

But it was clearly grabbing the spotlight yesterday as Maltz and 18 fellow sculpture students at the Royal College of Art, London, put the finishing touches to their final year show. His piece is entitled Lying in the bath thinking of the massacre of the innocents and will be open for public view from today. Anyone wishing to compare Maltz with Rubens should simply cross the capital to the National Gallery where it is currently on display.

David Thomson, billionaire chairman of the Thomson newspaper empire, was the purchaser in 2002 and has loaned it to the British gallery for three years before it goes to be housed at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Canada. The 400-year-old work will be a highlight of the National Gallery's show on Rubens this autumn.

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