Alleged Rothko Vandal Pleads Not Guilty

Lawyer says he welcomes trial to talk about art

By Liam Carnahan,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 10, 2012 12:31 PM CDT

(Newser) – The 26-year-old Polish man accused of vandalizing a Rothko painting probably worth millions pleaded not guilty to criminal damage today. Wlodzimierz Umaniec allegedly stepped over a wire at the Tate Modern in London on Sunday to tag the "Black on Maroon" painting with the cryptic message: "VLADIMIR UMANETS '12, A POTENTIAL PIECE OF YELLOWISM."

So what gives? We may find out soon: His lawyer says Umaniec, also spelled Umanets, welcomes a trial "so he can have the discussion he wishes to have about the art." Get a head start if you wish at the thisisyellowism.com website, which has a hard-to-fathom manifesto co-written by the suspect, notes the Huffington Post. Tate officials, meanwhile, think they can restore the painting.

This isn't the painting vandalized. It's Rothko's 'Orange, Red, Yellow,' which recently sold for $86 million. The vandalized one is called 'Black on Maroon.'
This isn't the painting vandalized. It's Rothko's 'Orange, Red, Yellow,' which recently sold for $86 million. The vandalized one is called 'Black on Maroon.'   (AP Photo/Sotheby's Auction Housse, File)
In this 1965 file photo, Russian-born American painter Mark Rothko is shown.
In this 1965 file photo, Russian-born American painter Mark Rothko is shown.   (AP Photo, file)
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