Mark Rothko painting defaced at the Tate Modern art gallery

Kasmira Jefford
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A MULTI-MILLION painting by Modernist artist Mark Rothko was defaced by a visitor to the Tate Modern museum yesterday.

The gallery said a man had inscribed a message using black paint in the corner of the 1958 canvass Black on Maroon shortly before 3.30pm before quickly leaving the room. An investigation is currently underway.

The Russian-American painter, deemed one of the 20th century’s most important artists, was commissioned to paint the Seagram Murals in the 1950s for the new Four Seasons restaurant in New York. He donated a number of them to the Tate before he died in 1970.

Tim Wright, who witnessed the event and posted a photograph of the damaged canvas on Twitter, wrote: “This guy calmly walked up, took out a marker pen and tagged it. Surreal...Very bizarre, he sat there for a while then just went for it and made a quick exit”.