Artworks by great artists like Da Vinci, Van Gough, Claude Monet, etc. are priceless. These exceptionally talented painters certainly won’t be resurrected to create another piece of their artwork. Hence, it was quite painful to see a timeless piece of art created by Monet, brutally destroyed by a deranged man in Ireland.
The man, identified as Andrew Shannon, punched a hole through a painting worth about $10 million. The 49-year-old, who is currently in the custody of Ireland police, ruined the Claude Monet masterpiece hanging in the National Gallery Ireland in 2012 by attacking it in front of stunned art lovers, reported The Herald. The famous painting, titled Argenteuil Basin with a Single Sailboat, now lies torn. As can be seen in the photo, the painting now has large hole at the center. Before it was ruined by Andrew, the painting was appraised at £7.8 million ($10 million).
Though the artwork is now almost certainly ruined and will undoubtedly lose most of its value even after restorers somehow glue the painting together, CCTV footage obtained from the National Gallery proved immensely helpful in convicting Mr. Shannon for this heinous crime, reported Metro.
Interestingly, when Mr. Shannon was arrested, he confessed the crime was a thoughtless act of vandalism in an attempt to “get back at the state.” But, when presented in court, he tried to completely deny his intentions and deliberate actions that ruined the Monet painting. In court, he tried to convince the jury that he felt faint and accidentally fell on the painting. However, he could not explain how he had the awareness and strength immediately afterwards, to shout and yell at the tourists who were present there.
Mr. Shannon was subsequently accosted and restrained by a security guard, who revealed he had found a can of paint stripper on Mr. Shannon, which may have been intended to deface other paintings and thereby make the state “suffer some more.”
The jury however, saw right through Mr. Shannon’s story after watching the CCTV footage, and came to the unanimous conclusion that his actions were intentional, as well as premeditated. The jury required just 90 minutes to come up the guilty verdict. The jury has awarded a sentence of 5 years in prison for Mr. Shannon, who won’t be permitted in any gallery for 15 months after his release, as an added measure.
Interestingly, the story doesn’t end here. Upon suspicion, the court ordered the police to search Mr. Shannon’s residence in Dublin. When police barged in, they were greeted with nearly 50 items which included rare and valuable artworks, books, and all sorts of antiques.
[Image Credit | SWNS]