Vandalized Works of Art and the People Who Vandalized Them

The Toilet of Venus ('The Rokeby Venus')

The Toilet of Venus: In 1914, a suffragette attacked this Diego Velazquez painting with a meat cleaver. There is almost no apparent damage except sometimes you have to jiggle the handle of the toilet.

The Thinker: Cleveland’s version of Rodin’s The Thinker was vandalized by the Weather Underground. Using explosives they managed to damage the statue’s base and to get some serious experience using explosives so they could blow themselves up later.

The Nightwatch: The famed Rembrandt painting was attacked with knives twice, both times by unemployed people taking out their frustrations on the work of art. After the second time, a special frame was created to cover up Rembrandt’s inscription at the bottom: “Ha Ha! I’ve got a job and YOU don’t!”.

The Pieta: Michelangelo’s sculpture of the dying Christ was attacked in 1972 by Laszlo Toth. Toth apparently thought that he was Christ so he did what Christ would’ve done: Whale away on something with a hammer. He was put in an Italian mental institution (or as they call it, “Parliament”) for two years. After that, he was deported to Australia (or, as they call it, “Poison Animal Land”)…

The Virgin and Child: Leonardo’s famous unfinished painting was accidentally damaged during a cleaning. Most of the damage was repaired, except for the broken hymen.

Mona Lisa: In 1956, Bolivian Ugo Ungaza Villegas threw a rock at the Mona Lisa, shattering the glass in front of it and damaging just a speck of the painting. The Louvre immediately addressed this by shutting down all sales of rocks inside the museum.

Colored Vases: Ai Weiwei’s colored vases were on display at Miami’s Perez Art Museum, and not doing anyone any actual harm, when local artist Maximo Caminero came in, held one of vases about chest high and dropped it to the floor. Caminero said it was to protest the museum ignoring local artists, as if destroying their exhibits was going to inspire them to use more locals. The vase was valued at one million dollars. Ironically, the shards, arranged and glued to a plasterboard, were valued at two million dollars.

Woman in a Red Armchair: Uriel Landeros stenciled something onto this painting to “raise awareness”, I’d assume awareness of half-wits who vandalize paintings. He received a sentence of two years for felony graffiti. Imagine the respect he got from his fellow inmates when he told them what he was in for.

The Fountain: A fountain commemorating victims of the Holocaust was vandalized in Santa Rosa, January 2022. Authorities are searching for the culprit, including the GOP, who have expressed an interest in his running for state senate…

Two Tahitian Women: Susan Burns, of Virginia, attacked Gauguin’s painting of two Tahitian women because she felt that the display of breasts was sinful and that the painting “should be burned”. Fortunately, she was white, so she was immediately let go; and, four months later, attacked a Matisse painting in the same gallery. She was examined and declared too crazy for trial but just crazy enough to be a contestant on Skating with the Stars.

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