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Worthing artist jailed for Rothko vandalism
12:38pm Thursday 13th December 2012 in News
A man has been jailed for two years for defacing a painting by artist Mark Rothko.
Wlodzimierz Umaniec, 26, also known as Vladimir Umanets, defaced the mural, worth in the region of £5 million to £9 million, at London's Tate Modern gallery on October 7 this year.
Umaniec, a Polish national living in Worthing, West Sussex, admitted criminal damage to the value of in excess of £5,000 - but estimates suggest the restoration of the painting will cost around £200,000.
Judge Roger Chapple, at Inner London Crown Court, told Umaniec: "Your actions on the 7th of October of this year were entirely deliberate, planned and intentional."
The vandal, who co-founded the artistic movement "yellowism", stepped over a barrier in the art gallery and daubed his name and the words "12 a potential piece of yellowism" before fleeing.
The court heard he went to the gallery intending to put his "signature" on a picture, but decided to damage the Rothko painting only at the time he saw it on display.
The gallery was then put into "operation shutdown" with people prevented from leaving or entering the building.
Gregor McKinley, prosecuting, said work to restore the painting will take about 20 months and cost "something around £200,000".
Gareth Morgan, defending, said it would take a "significant amount of effort, expert effort at that" to restore the "important, valuable piece of art".
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