The man who defaced the Tate Modern's prized Mark Rothko painting has been sentenced to two years in prison for his "entirely deliberate, planned and intentional" vandalism of the artwork, The Guardian reports.
Judge Roger Chapple, at Inner London crown court, said it was "abundantly clear" that Wlodzimierz Umaniec, also known as Vladimir Umanets, was "plainly an intelligent man" who regarded Rothko as a "great painter". The 26-year-old Polish national who lives in Worthing, West Sussex, pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to criminal damage in excess of £5,000. In this case it was well in excess, with estimates suggesting it will cost more than £200,000 and 20 months to restore. And the restoration will not be a simple procedure, as Rothko is known for using unusual materials in his work, like eggs and glue to create his works. Gregor McKinley, prosecuting, said: "Sotheby's has given Tate Modern a verbal estimate of pre-damage value of approximately between #5m to just over #9m."
The incident occurred back on October 7th 2012. Umaniec approached one of Rothko's Seagram murals, Black on Maroon, took out a brush and some black paint and wrote his name along with 'A Potential Piece of Yellowism' in the corner of the work. "Art allows us to take what someone's done and put a new message on it," said Umanets on Yellowism to the BBC.