Five Busted in Monet Vandalism

One in drunken pack had link to museum
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 10, 2007 5:06 AM CDT
Five Busted in Monet Vandalism
A 10-centimeter (nearly 4-inch) tear is seen in renowned work by Impressionist painter Claude Monet, "Le Pont d'Argenteuil," at the Orsay Museum in Paris, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2007, after intruders entered the museum early Sunday and seriously damaged the painting. A surveillance camera caught a group entering...   (Associated Press)

Four men and a woman have been arrested for allegedly punching a hole in a Monet masterpiece at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris. One admitted damaging the painting, and another knew how to access the building through a rear entrance because of a work history with the institution, police said. The apparently drunken intruders were caught on video breaking in, attacking "Le Pont d'Argenteuil" and fleeing as an alarm sounded.

The vandals left a 4-inch gash in the canvas. The damage occurred as thousands thronged Paris for Nuit Blanche or the "White Night" festival when free art events are staged until dawn. France's rugby victory over New Zealand the same night sparked raucous street celebrations. France's cultural minister has called for tougher measures against art vandals. (More art stories.)

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