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Art Terrorized in DC, Encore

Who: Susan Burns — Repeat Offender
When: August 2011
What: Arrested slamming Henri Matisse’s painting against a wall at Washington’s National Gallery of Art

At first, Burns, 53-year old of Alexandria, VA was arrested in April for attacking a Paul Gauguin painting “Two Tahitian Women” and as a condition of her release in the spring, she reportedly promised to stay away from all museums and art galleries in Washington. She lied. Now, she is charged with “unlawful entry” resulting in damaging the frame of “The Plumed Hat.”

Assaulted Gauguin is estimated at $80 million. The Matisse is valued at mere $2.5 million. If Burns gets to strike again, the gallery may not need to invest into new security because the next victim will be worth no more than $70 thousand.

Instead “the National Gallery is now seeking a total of $23,509,000 for its security screen in 2012 — up nearly $700,000 from the current year — in an overall budget request of $138 million.” In light of the budget cuts that are threatening museums, where is the money for security is to come from? Burns is unlikely to pick up the tab.

For more details read Washington Post.
Image: Henri Matisse, The Plumed Hat (1919)