Sunday, October 7, 2007

Vandals Punch Hole In A Monet

France's Musée d'Orsay is in shock, as are art lovers everywhere, finding the gaping hole punched in the beautiful Monet on Sunday morning. Drunken vandals with clumsy fists and minds of slush, tore a hole in the founding father of Impressionism Claude Monet's painting, "Le pont d'Argenteuil" or The bridge at Argenteuil. The painting was complete in 1874 and is now potentially irrevocably damaged by the roundhouse punch from irreverent rugby fans.

Earlier Sunday, culture ministry spokesman Paul Rechter said: "A group of individuals in a state of some inebriation broke into the Musee d'Orsay. They set off the alarm, and as they left struck a picture, causing severe damage."

The culprits had not been caught, he added.

The incident happened during Paris's so-called Nuit Blanche (White Night), when music and cultural events are staged late into the night and thousands throng the streets of the capital.

It was also the night that France beat New Zealand in their Rugby World Cup quarter-final match, sparking raucous celebrations across the city.

Monet's work graces some of the most prestigious museums around the world. His Water Lilies collection in Paris is a must see for everyone's virgin visit to the Musée de l'Orangerie. En plein air or outdoor art is a staple of Claude Monet's repertoire. France has a wealth of art and cultural treasure which have been under assault from the more uncouth or avaricious amongst us. Due in a French court is a lady who painted a lipstick kiss on an American work of art as another group of robbers broke in to a museum in Nice stealing a Monet among other significant works while a disturbed art critic took a hammer to a urinal exhibit by a French-American artist at Paris's Pompidou Centre.

Hello - anybody home in the French Culture ministry, your security is lacking for such important works of art to be ripped, defaced and stolen so easily. For goodness sakes France, do something, the world still wants to see all the beautiful art!

Monet in Normandy is an exhibit that traveled through the US. Richard Brettell's book captures the paintings and beauty of beloved Normandy through Monet's eyes prior to his cataracts. These are poignant due to it all being captured on Monet's canvass before the World Wars.

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