Never underestimate the lengths some conspiracy theorists will go to in order to fulfill their deluded desire to become some kind of warrior against the evils they imagine. Of course, violence against their critics is always a danger, since these people generally believe their detractors are part of the evil conspiracy. Now, in a new twist, a 9/11 conspiracy-obsessed woman in France has defaced a priceless and iconic painting shortly after it went on display at the Louvre-Lens museum in Lens France.
The painting, Liberty Leading the People is shown here:
Delacroix painting at Lens Louvre gallery defaced with permanent marker
A woman has been arrested after defacing a painting by Eugène Delacroix at the Louvre satellite museum in Lens. The 28-year-old told police she had scrawled “AE911” with an indelible marker on the painting, Liberty Leading the People, to draw attention to an organisation that appears to believe the 9/11 attacks were a conspiracy.
On Friday, after an art expert was dispatched from Paris to examine the painting, completed in 1830 to celebrate the July 1830 revolution, a museum official said the work had been cleaned and had suffered no lasting damage.
The 30cm graffiti tag had been removed from the lower right of the canvas without damaging the work, the official said. “The painting remains intact. The inscription was superficial; it was on the surface of the varnish and hadn’t reached the paint layer.” The cleaning operation had lasted two hours and had been done with the painting still on the wall. The wing of the gallery, closed for the emergency restoration, was expected to reopen on Saturday .
Delacroix’s work shows a bare-breasted woman personifying Liberty brandishing a French tricolour in one hand and a bayonetted musket in the other, leading the people forward over the bodies of the fallen.
Philippe Peyroux, the local prosecutor, told AFP that the woman held by police appeared to be “unstable”. He said he had requested that she be examined by a psychiatrist. He added that she had a “French-sounding name”, but her reasons for vandalising the painting were not clear.
The woman’s identity has not been released. The fact that she has a “French sounding name” is the only information. It would imply that she is probably a French National and not someone from elsewhere. This would make sense given that the city of Lens is a relatively small city and not prone to drawing the kind of international visitors that Paris might. However, no other details of her background are known.
In this case the art world is lucky to have avoided a catastrophe. Painting restoration experts have developed a wide array of special cleaners and solvents that are capable of removing surface contamination without harming the original paint. The painting is composed of oil-based paint on canvas, with a top coat of varnish. Art restoration experts were able to clean off the superficial ink from the surface without causing damage to the painting. The use of a permanent marker would appear to indicate that the woman intended to irreversibly deface the painting, though she failed.
Had the woman used another method of defacing the painting, for example, if she had attempted to scratch the message into the canvas with a nail, cut it into the painting with a knife or burn it in with a lighter, it would not have been so easily remedied and would have left the painting forever damaged.
This entry was posted on Saturday, February 9th, 2013 at 2:48 pm and is filed under Bad Science, Conspiracy Theories, Culture, Misc. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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