Officials at the National Gallery of Art
say a painting by Paul Gauguin is being inspected for damage after it was attacked by a visitor.
The unusual incident happened late Friday afternoon. Museum visitors tell The Washington Post that a woman tried to pull Gauguin's "Two Tahitian Women" off the wall and banged on its clear plastic covering. Witnesses say the woman was screaming, "This is evil."
Gallery spokeswoman Deborah Ziska says the woman was restrained by the museum's federal protection services officers and charged with destruction of property and attempted theft. She says no damage to the 1899 painting was immediately apparent but that a more thorough examination is scheduled for Monday.
The painting depicts the women as partially nude. It's part of a special Gauguin exhibit.
This is the official statement from the National Gallery:
In this painting from 1899, among Gauguins most popular, he depicts two Tahitian women in a serene state of reverence, as they offer flowers, perhaps during a religious ceremony. Their skin is depicted in golden hues, set off by the cool colors of their clothes and of the tropical glade in which they stand. The painting captures Gauguins mythical idea of Tahiti as a paradise of beautiful, mysterious women.