Velázquez's Rokeby Venus Attacked

November 7 2023

Video: The Guardian

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The art world was shocked yesterday at the sight of two youths dressed in slogans attacking Diego Velázquez's Rokeby Venus at the National Gallery in London. It appears the couple managed to smuggle in emergency break glass implements, which did terrible damage to the glass which protected the painting. It is not yet known whether the work itself has sustained any permanent hurt. The videos of the incident are rather telling too, as it appears that no staff intervene despite the horrifically loud noises produced by the glass being pierced by these tools.

Although this painting as a history of being involved in iconoclasm for political causes, I am yet to hear of any instance where the destruction of an old master painting directly led to the success of any political movement. All it will lead to is the anger of legions of art lovers across the globe, who won't be so kind if one of these childish stunts actually does more harm to these irreplaceable treasures than has luckily already been the case.

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