A PAINTING by Mark Rothko has been defaced at the Tate Modern art gallery.
Police were called after a small area of the mural was painted on yesterday afternoon, a spokeswoman for the gallery said.
She said: “Tate can confirm there was an incident at Tate Modern in which a visitor defaced one of Rothko’s Seagram murals by applying a small area of black paint with a brush to the painting. Police are currently investigating the incident.”
Paintings by the Modernist painter, one of America’s most important post-war artists, have sold for tens of millions of pounds.
An eyewitness wrote on Twitter: “This guy calmly walked up, took out a marker pen and tagged it. Surreal.”
Russian-born Rothko emigrated to the US at the age of ten, and went on to become an important post-war abstract expressionist.
He was commissioned to paint the Seagram murals in 1958 for Manhattan’s Four Seasons restaurant, but they were never installed. Shortly before his death in 1970, he presented some of the murals to the Tate Gallery.
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