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Virginia Woman Attacks National Gallery Painting

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Paul Gauguin, "Two Tahitian Women", 1899, oil on canvas, framed: 121.9 x 101.6 x 9.5 cm (48 x 40 x 3 3/4 in.), unframed: 94 x 75.4 cm (37 x 29 11/16 in.), Lent by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of William Church Osborn, 1949.
National Gallery of Art
Paul Gauguin, "Two Tahitian Women", 1899, oil on canvas, framed: 121.9 x 101.6 x 9.5 cm (48 x 40 x 3 3/4 in.), unframed: 94 x 75.4 cm (37 x 29 11/16 in.), Lent by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of William Church Osborn, 1949.

Gallery officers say 53-year-old Susan Burns was visiting the gallery when she tried to tear the painting "Two Tahitian Women" off the wall Friday. They say she then began punching the art with her fists. However, the painting was protected by Plexiglass.

Burns now faces criminal charges. According to court papers, she told investigators she thought that Gauguin was evil and that the painting should be burned. The work that upset her features two women, with fully and partially exposed breasts.

Gallery staff inspected the art work for damage and say it will be back on display Tuesday. The painting is on loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

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