London

Rothko painting damage at Tate Modern: Man in court

  • 10 October 2012
  • From the section London
Rothko painting
The damage is being assessed by the gallery

A man has appeared in court charged with defacing a Mark Rothko painting at London's Tate Modern gallery.

Camberwell Green magistrates were told Wlodzimierz Umaniec, 26, - who followed the hearing via video link - would plead not guilty to criminal damage.

Mr Umaniec, a Polish national of no fixed address also known as Vladimir Umanets, was remanded in custody.

Witnesses saw a man daub the Rothko mural, Black on Maroon, on Sunday afternoon before fleeing the gallery.

Mr Umaniec's next court hearing was scheduled for 16 October.

The Tate Modern was shut for a short period after the incident and reopened at 15:25 BST.

The gallery said it did not have a price for the defaced piece, which is a 1958 Seagram mural, but paintings by the Russian-born artist often fetch tens of millions of pounds.

Conservation experts from the gallery have been assessing the damage.

Earlier this year, Rothko's Orange, Red, Yellow sold for £53.8m in New York - the highest price paid for a piece of post-war art at auction.

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