The painting, which is said to be the inspiration for the Statue of Liberty, is so closely associated with France that its visage was once on the 100-franc note, and on postage stamps. (Photo : Reuters)
A woman accused of vandalizing a famous painting depicting the French revolution with 9/11 "truther" graffiti at the famous Louvre museum in France has been arrested by police, The New York Daily News reported.
The 28-year-old woman reportedly wrote "AE911" in black marker across the bottom of Eugene Delacroix's iconic artwork, "Liberty Leading the People," Thursday while the painting was on display in the Louvre Lens museum, a new branch of the gallery opened in December. Considered a masterpiece of Romanticism, the work, painted in 1830, celebrates the French uprising. The painting, which is said to be the inspiration for the Statue of Liberty, is so closely associated with the country that its visage was once on the 100-franc note, and on postage stamps, the Daily News noted.
The woman's "AE911" graffiti likely references a conspiracy website called "Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth," whose creators claim they want to find the true story of what happened in the Sept. 11, 2001 suicide airplane attacks on New York City's Twin Towers, according to the Daily News.
The graffiti was also said to be a clear reference to 9/11 conspiracy theories by an unnamed legal source who spoke to the French media, the BBC reported.
"It had really become an icon, a sort of symbol of the Republic which has remained famous throughout the ages," explained Vincent Pomarede, head of the Louvre's painting department.
"We have a very passionate relationship with all our paintings and when something like this happens it's really hard to handle," Pomarede added.
Delacroix's masterpiece appears to have taken the bizarre incident in stride. The Louvre was able to save the famous artwork, as the black marker didn't break through the top layer of varnish, and was successfully removed, the gallery confirmed Friday, the Daily News reported.
The woman in custody appeared "unstable" and a psychiatric evaluation has been requested, local prosecutor, Phillippe Peyroux said to AFP news agency, the BBC reported. No other information has been released about the woman's identity other than that she had a "French-sounding name," Peyroux said.