An April Fool at the National Gallery

Last week , there was another incident involving bare breasts and protests at a District museum – and it wasn’t a nurse-in at the Smithsonian.

Gauguin - Two Tahitian Women - National Gallery of Art
Two Tahitian Women, Paul Gauguin, 1899 (Courtesy of National Gallery of Art)

On April 1st, a woman attacked a famous painting by Paul Gauguin – “Two Tahitian Women” – on display at the National Gallery of Art.

It was no April Fool’s prank – more like  a crazed rant. The woman allegedly tried to pull the painting off the wall, shouting “This is evil.”

She was still pounding on the plexiglas protecting the painting when she was tackled by a tourist and detained by security.

Her reasoning, released in court documents this week:

“I feel that Gauguin is evil. He has nudity and is bad for the children…I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.”

Okay, nothing reasonable there.

According to the Washington Post, this kind of vandalism is relatively unheard of in the history of the National Gallery.

In 1974, a man used a painting to smash a folding chair from the Renaissance

National Gallery of Art
The National Gallery of Art

period into bits. And from 1978 to 1979, someone used a sharp object to cause minor damage to 25 pieces of art – including a Matisse and a Renoir.

Luckily, the Gauguin escaped unscathed and was back on display on Tuesday.

You can can still see the painting and the exhibit – Gauguin: Maker of Myth – until June 5.

Just keep your hands to yourself.

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