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Man arrested for defacing queen's portrait in London

14 june 2013, 15:21
0
A man was charged on Friday after a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II commissioned to mark her 60 years on the throne was defaced at London's Westminster Abbey, AFP reports.

"In an incident at lunchtime today (Thursday), a visitor to the abbey sprayed paint on the Ralph Heimans portrait of the queen, presently on display in the Chapter House," a spokeswoman for the abbey said.

"Until work can be done to remedy the damage it will -- very regrettably -- not be possible to have the painting on public view."

Electrician Tim Haries, 41, of Doncaster in northern England, was in custody at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court on Friday charged with criminal damage over £5,000 ($7,850, 8,877 euros), said police.

The protest group Fathers4Justice, which campaigns for equal access rights for divorced fathers, said Haries was one of its members. They did not endorse the protest.

The oil painting by Heimans, a Sydney-born artist based in London, is titled "The Coronation Theatre" and was commissioned for the queen's diamond jubilee last year.

Measuring nine feet by 11 feet (about 2.7 metres by 3.4 metres), it depicts the monarch in the state dress she wore to her coronation in 1953, taking an imagined moment of solitary reflection in the sacrarium of Westminster Abbey.

The painting was first shown at the National Portrait Gallery of Australia, and now forms part of the permanent collection of the abbey in London.

It was put on public display on May 23 as part of a special exhibition marking 60 years since the coronation, and had been due to stay up until September 27.

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