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Tate Modern in London
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/Y. Mok

Man charged over damaged Picasso in London gallery

December 31, 2019

The 20-year-old suspect is in custody after allegedly ripping the painting worth 20 million pounds. The incident occurred at London's famous Tate Modern gallery.


A 20-year-old man was being held in custody on Tuesday after being charged with damaging a painting by Pablo Picasso. The incident in question occurred on Saturday at London's famous Tate Modern gallery.

Police at the museum have not named the work in question, though British media reported that it was Picasso's "Bust of a Woman," and that it was either slashed or ripped.

The painting was completed in Paris in May 1944, during the final months of the Nazi occupation, and depicts the artist's lover, Dora Maar. It is worth some 20 million pounds ($26 million, €24 million).

Tate issued a statement following the attack: "An incident occurred at Tate Modern on Dec. 28 when a member of the public attempted to damage a painting.

"The person was swiftly apprehended and has been charged. Police are investigating. The work of art is with our conservation team for expert assessment."

The suspect, named by local media reports as Shakeel Massey, will remain in custody pending an initial hearing on January 30.

es/rc (Reuters, AP)

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