Man who struck £ 20million Picasso painting at Tate Modern jailed for 18 months
A man who disfigured a Picasso painting on display at the Tate Modern was sentenced to 18 months in prison. Shakeel Ryan Massey admitted criminal damage after attacking woman bust (1944), which represents the artist’s lover and muse, Dora Maar, last december. According to court records, the damage to the paint, valued at £ 20million, amounts to around £ 350,000.
According to Standard Evening newspaper, the Spanish architectural student spent about three minutes looking at the painting before removing it from the wall, telling a security guard it was performing an “art performance.”
Prosecutor Ben Edwards told the court: “[Massey] dropped his coat on the floor and rushed towards the painting, hitting the artwork and causing the protective glass to shatter and the painting in the middle to tear. Massey’s attorney, Glen Harris, said his client is “an immature artist who cares about who knows what. It is truly unjustifiable.
Tate said in a statement, “We thank the court for its careful consideration of this case and have noted the outcome. The work is in conservation period. The work, which is expected to be restored over the next 18 months, is on long-term loan from a private collection.
According to Tate: “In woman bust, Maar wears a hat and green clothes, and is seated on a black metal chair. The angular, flat structure of her face is achieved with linear simplicity, allowing the contrasting orientation of the nose and mouth. This configuration is reproduced several times in the sequence of 1944 portraits of which this one is part.