Man Punched a Hole Through $10-Million Monet Painting Displayed in a Gallery
In 2012, 49-year-old Andrew Shannon visited the National Gallery Ireland and shocked the other visitors by punching a Claude Monet masterpiece. The piece of art is valued at $10 million.
Shannon was caught on CCTV making a fist before slamming it into the painting. The famous painting, titled “Argenteuil Basin with a Single Sailboat”, was left with a large hole in the middle of it.
The masterpiece was painted in 1874 by Claude Monet and bequeathed to the gallery in 1924. It depicts an autumnal scene at Argenteuil, a developing industrial town on the outskirts of Paris.
Monet lived there from 1871 to 1878 and during his time there, he used a boat as a floating studio and painted many scenes of Argenteuil, the Seine, as well as the surrounding countryside. Since light and color were his chief interests, Monet wanted to immerse himself in nature.
Claude Monet was the key figure responsible for the development of a well-known art movement - Impressionism. In fact, the name Impressionism, is derived from Monet’s work titled “Impression, Sunrise”, which was painted in Paris in 1873.
Monet was consistent in his drive to capture the more ephemeral qualities of nature on canvas, exemplified in his series of paintings from the 1890s.
Each painting was a particular view at different times of the day. Basically, it was a recording how that view’s appearance changed under varying atmospheric conditions, such as light source and quality.
It is not clear whether Shannon knew about the history of the painting which he punched or whether he chose this painting deliberately. After his arrest, Shannon told the police that his act of vandalism was done in an attempt to “get back at the state.” How punching a Monet painting would get back at the state, he did not say. In court, however, he changed his story - he repeatedly claimed that he “felt faint” and fell into the painting.
That was a hard sell to the jury because after punching the painting, Shannon allegedly shouted at a group of tourists also visiting the gallery. A security guard then arrived to restrain him and found a can of paint stripper. The CCTV footage didn't help Shannon's case either.
Andrew Shannon was found guilty and sentenced to five years in prison - he would not be allowed in any gallery for fifteen months following his release. Police also raided Shannon home in Dublin after his arrest and found nearly fifty stolen goods, including valuable artworks, books, and other antiques. Presumably, the stolen items were categorized and returned to their rightful owners.
it not yet publicly known,if any restoration on the painting will be done and how the damage would affect the painting’s monetary value.