Rothko mural defaced at London’s Tate Modern

LONDON (AP) — London’s Tate Modern says a vandal has damaged a mural at the gallery by modern American master Mark Rothko.

Tate says a visitor defaced the mural, one of Rothko’s Seagram series, “by applying a small area of black paint with a brush to the painting.”

A photograph posted on Twitter by a gallery visitor showed words, including the name Vladimir, scrawled in the corner of the painting. The gallery, which attracts 5 million visitors a year, was briefly closed Sunday after the incident.


Tate Modern says police are investigating.

Rothko, who died in 1970, is renowned for his large abstract paintings featuring bold blocks of color. The defaced painting was one of a series intended to decorate the Four Seasons restaurant in New York. Rothko changed his mind about the commission and gave the works to galleries, including the Tate.

Earlier this year, Rothko’s “Orange, Red, Yellow” sold for almost $87 million at auction in New York.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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