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Gauguin painting to be checked for damage

Gauguin painting to be checked for damage
"Two Tahitian Women" by Paul Gauguin via Wikimedia Commons.

WASHINGTON, April 4 (UPI) -- A woman beat Gauguin's "Two Tahitian Women" with her fists at the National Gallery in Washington, calling it "evil," museum officials said.

The painting was to be checked for damage Monday.

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In Friday's incident, the woman pulled the painting from the wall and struck it repeatedly with her fists, shouting, "This is evil," The Washington Post reported.

The brochure of the exhibit (pdf)

"She was really pounding it with her fists," said Pamela Degotardi of New York, who witnessed the attack. "It was like this weird surreal scene that one doesn't expect at the National Gallery."

Gallery spokeswoman Deborah Ziska said the painting didn't appear to be damaged, but a closer inspection was to be conducted.

In the painting, both breasts on one woman are exposed, as is a single breast on the second woman.

It is on loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and is part of a 120-piece Gauguin exhibit that opened at the National Gallery in late February.

The exhibit, called "Gauguin: Maker of Myth," runs through June 5.

The suspect appeared in court Saturday, but details of her hearing were not immediately available, the Post said.

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