Woman Attacks Gauguin at National Gallery

'This is evil,' shouts visitor who pounds painting with her fists
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Apr 4, 2011 4:26 AM CDT
A woman stands near 'Two Tahitian Women' by Paul Gauguin at the Tate Modern in London last year. The same painting was attacked by a crazed visitor last week at Washington's National Gallery.   (AP Photo/Katie Collins/PA)

(Newser) – A Paul Gauguin painting of two topless Tahitian women was attacked on Friday by an angry National Gallery visitor who pounded on the artwork, shouting: "This is evil!" She “was really pounding it with her fists,” a witness told the Washington Post. “It was like this weird surreal scene that one doesn’t expect at the National Gallery.” The unidentified woman tried to pull the painting, Two Tahitian Women, off the wall before another visitor at the Washington museum "tackled" her, said the witness.

She was immediately arrested by federal officers. No damage to the 1899 painting was immediately apparent, but it will be carefully examined today, said a museum spokeswoman. The painting was covered with clear plastic when it was attacked.The woman has been charged with destruction of property and attempted theft. The painting is on loan from New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art and is part of a traveling exhibition "Gauguin: Maker of Myth."

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