LONDON, UK – A painting by French impressionist Claude Monet worth $12.5 million has been seriously damaged after a man put his fist through it at the National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin.
According to The Irish Times, the attacker lunged at the 1874 painting, entitled Argenteuil Basin with a Single Sailboat, on Friday morning, leaving a large hole in the canvass.
The painting was bequeathed to the gallery in 1924, and is only the Monet in its collection, The Belfast Telegraph reported.
Police in Dublin confirmed late Friday that a man had been arrested and taken into custody in connection with the attack. Originally from the Irish capital, he has convictions in the UK relating to robberies from stately homes in which rare paintings, antiques and books were lifted, The Irish Times reported.
Staff at the gallery told the Daily Mail that the man was carrying a bag with paint stripper inside at the time of the attack.
Sean Rainbird, director of the National Gallery of Ireland, said the incident was “shocking and very regrettable,” and praised police officers and the gallery’s staff for the efforts in dealing with the attack, according to RTÉ News.