Crazy person attacks Gauguin painting for being evil

"Two Tahitian Women" by Paul Gauguin, 1899A crazy woman assaulted “Two Tahitian Women” by Paul Gauguin at the National Gallery of Art last week. Yelling and shouting, she pummeled the painting with her fists, grabbed it by the frame and tried to wrench it off the wall. A social worker from the Bronx tackled her, stopping the assault. Federal security officers attached to the museum immediately handcuffed and detained her.

The painting was protected by a plexiglass covering which she wasn’t able to penetrate, so there was no immediately visible damage to the art work. Curators took it off display to examine it thoroughly. Today they announced that the canvas is unharmed. There was some damage to the frame and the fittings that secured the painting to the wall, but according to Washington, D.C. Superior Court filings, it’s minor.

The court documents identify the attacker as Susan Burns, 53, of Alexandria, Virginia. She has been charged with attempted theft in the second degree and destruction of property, misdemeanor offenses to which she pleaded not guilty on Saturday.

According to court papers, Burns told an investigator: “I feel that Gauguin is evil. He has nudity and is bad for the children. He has two women in the painting and it’s very homosex­ual. I was trying to remove it. I think it should be burned. I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.”

Not surprisingly, she’ll be getting a mental observation hearing Tuesday. This isn’t her first brush with the law. Her arrest record goes back to 1998, and she served time for assaulting a police officer and for conspiring to commit a carjacking.

The painting is on loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art as part of the large 120-piece Gauguin exhibit that opened at the National Gallery in February. It’s a good thing she chose that particular painting because the Met requires that all their loaned out pieces be protected with the plexi shield. Neither of the paintings to the right and left of “Two Tahitian Women” have a protective covering.

The “Gauguin: Maker of Myth” exhibit will be at the National Gallery through June 5.

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15 Comments »

Comment by No\Deli
2011-04-05 01:27:11

Excellent publicity stunt! Way to go National Gallery!

 
Comment by livius drusus
2011-04-05 01:33:58

:lol: Extra points for laying the groundwork starting in 1998.

 
Comment by Petra
2011-04-05 03:35:22

It just goes to show you that paintings of brown and naked boobies have the evil power to send good white hetero puritans stark raving loony.

 
Comment by edahstip
2011-04-05 06:21:51

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome your new right wing media darling.

 
Comment by Hels
2011-04-05 06:48:16

Gauguin was indeed a very naughty lad, but not because “he has nudity and is bad for the children. He has two women in the painting and it’s very homosex­ual”. Instead I would be unhappy with him because he neglected his own wife and children at home, and exploited young girls in the Pacific.

But good gracious, if we starting smashing up the art, books and music of every artist we didn’t approve of in their person life, there would be no arts left.

 
Comment by Benjamin
2011-04-05 09:16:36

I thought we got rid of all these loonies? How did this one slip pass the radar? She even blabbed she is with us! Oh no now our plans of insane crazy purist super soldiers will never se fruition! Oh well at least we still have our monkey ninjas.

 
Comment by Mr. Murphy in VA
2011-04-05 09:58:45

Did some one blindfold this lady so she wouldn’t see other exposed boobies before getting to this particular painting. God forbid she ever goes to some other radical commie enclave like Rome or Paris or London to visit a museum. Perhaps she should shedule her next outing to the Creation museum in Kentucky–just to avoid another arrest.

 
Comment by Petra
2011-04-05 16:22:17

Actually, I do feel sorry for her. She is obviously not just your everyday garden variety loon, but is likely paranoid schizophrenic. And that’s sad for her and for everyone around her. Poor woman – I hope she gets the help she needs.

 
Comment by livius drusus
2011-04-05 23:31:24

Gauguin was indeed a very naughty lad, but not because “he has nudity and is bad for the children. He has two women in the painting and it’s very homosex­ual”. Instead I would be unhappy with him because he neglected his own wife and children at home, and exploited young girls in the Pacific.

For reals. If you’re going to go half-cocked over Gauguin’s moral failings, showing two women topless shouldn’t even begin to rank.

 
Comment by livius drusus
2011-04-05 23:32:10

I thought we got rid of all these loonies? How did this one slip pass the radar? She even blabbed she is with us! Oh no now our plans of insane crazy purist super soldiers will never se fruition! Oh well at least we still have our monkey ninjas.

NOT ANYMORE THANKS YOU TO YOU, BIGMOUTH MCBLABBY.

 
Comment by livius drusus
2011-04-05 23:37:44

Did some one blindfold this lady so she wouldn’t see other exposed boobies before getting to this particular painting. God forbid she ever goes to some other radical commie enclave like Rome or Paris or London to visit a museum. Perhaps she should shedule her next outing to the Creation museum in Kentucky–just to avoid another arrest.

That would be a pretty horrible sentence, actually, forcing her to go the Creation Museum every day for the rest of her life. She’ll go even crazier just from the stupids.

 
Comment by livius drusus
2011-04-05 23:39:04

Actually, I do feel sorry for her. She is obviously not just your everyday garden variety loon, but is likely paranoid schizophrenic. And that’s sad for her and for everyone around her. Poor woman – I hope she gets the help she needs.

Amen. The system has obviously failed to deal with her properly thus far. I hold no high hopes that she’ll get the mental health treatment she so sorely needs now that she’s made the news.

 
Comment by David
2011-04-09 05:19:30

It is concerning that these people can so easily come to public places and threaten the visitors as well as the precious works of art. I hope much more attention will be paid to her behavior now that she’s “become famous”.

 
Comment by livius drusus
2011-04-09 18:33:49

I suspect she’ll be getting psychiatric imprisonment this time, rather than just being thrown in a cell for a while. Here’s hoping that’s not as useless as it is on Law & Order.

 
Comment by Michael Morrison
2014-10-26 06:48:35

What Petra said up above. I was going to make the same comment that she was likely paranoid schizophrenic, until I read her comment. If she is schizophrenic, she should be hospitalized and given the mental health care she needs. Not imprisoned. There was a very good movie, forget what it’s called, that featured a woman who became schizophrenic, leaving her young son and husband to deal with the consequences. It was a very moving movie.

 
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