Man admits defacing Rothko painting at Tate Modern

Rothko painting Wlodzimierz Umaniec pleaded guilty to criminal damage of property valued at over £5,000

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A man has admitted defacing a Mark Rothko painting at London's Tate Modern gallery.

Wlodzimierz Umaniec, 26, pleaded guilty to criminal damage to property valued at over £5,000 at Camberwell Green Magistrates' Court.

Umaniec, a Polish national from Victoria Road in Worthing, West Sussex, also known as Vladimir Umanets, was released on conditional bail.

He will be sentenced at Inner London Crown Court at a later date.

'Tens of millions'

Umaniec was released on bail on condition he lives and sleeps at his address, his passport is retained, and that he does not go to the Tate Modern.

He must also report to his local police station three times a week.

Witnesses saw a man daub the Rothko mural, Black on Maroon, on 7 October before fleeing the gallery.

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.

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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