£20 million Picasso painting slashed by vandal

British police have charged a man with criminal damage after a painting, reportedly a Picasso, was attacked at a London gallery over the weekend.

The incident happened on Saturday at the Tate Modern gallery when Pablo Picasso's 1944 painting 'Bust of a Woman', worth about £20 million, was slashed, the BBC said.

It said the work, which depicts Picasso's lover Dora Maar and was painted in Paris in May 1944 during the final months of the Nazi occupation, was reported to have been ripped.

'Bust of a Woman' and Picasso himself.
'Bust of a Woman' and Picasso himself. Photo credit: Tate/Getty

The gallery confirmed an incident had taken place but declined to identify the painting.

It said in a statement: "An incident occurred at Tate Modern on December 28 when a member of the public attempted to damage a painting.

"The person was swiftly apprehended and has been charged. Police are investigating. The work of art is with our conservation team for expert assessment."

London's Metropolitan police said in a statement on Tuesday that detectives investigating an incident of criminal damage at the Tate Modern on December 28 had charged a man.

Shakeel Massey, 20, appeared in court on Monday and was remanded in custody until January 30 when he will attend a pre-trial hearing at Inner London Crown Court.



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