Gardaí investigate damage to Monet


A man has been arrested after a Monet painting hanging in the National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin was seriously damaged today.

The 1874 work, entitled Argenteuil Basin With a Single Sailboat, was damaged between about 11am and 12 pm, a spokeswoman for the gallery confirmed.

A man was taken from the scene by ambulance. Gardaí are investigating the damage to the painting and a man in his 40s was arrested this afternoon. He is being held at Pearse Street Garda station under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.

Bequeathed to the gallery in 1924, the Monet work had been hanging in the gallery's Millennium wing and is the only one by the French artist in the collection.

The spokeswoman was not in a position to comment further on the damage but said the painting had been removed for assessment by the conservation team.

"It is most regrettable," she added.

One of the rooms where the European masterpieces hang in the gallery was cordoned off with a white partition this afternoon and visitors were not allowed to pass through. Security staff would not comment on what had happened.

Director of the National Gallery, Sean Rainbird, said: “It is a shocking and very regrettable incident and I would like to praise the Garda Síochana and the NGI staff in dealing promptly with the matter.”

Gardaí asked that anyone who visited the National Gallery this morning contact them at Pearse Street.

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