Frenchwoman on trial for kissing “art”

French prosecutors Tuesday requested a hefty fine and a civics course against a woman who planted a lipstick-red kiss on a piece of artwork by US artist Cy Twombly. Seems fairly straight forward, until you read the details:

1) The piece of “artwork”, valued at 2 million Euros (which is somehow damn near $3 million US dollars), was a pure white canvas.  Not a Mona Lisa, not a Starry Night, not even a Dogs Playing Poker–just a pure white canvas.  Excuse me while I run to Home Depot to get a gallon of pure white–I promise I’ll sell my “artwork”for less than $10,000 a pop.

2) The vandal, Cambodian-born artist Rindy Sam, told the court “ “I just gave it a kiss. It was an act of love, when I kissed it, I wasn’t thinking. I thought the artist would understand.”

Then, to distance herself from drunken vandals who recently broken into another French museum and punched a hole in a Monet painting, she released this statement:

On the one hand you have a revoltingly bestial act of cruelty, on the other a pure, intense act of love. Rindy’s gesture was an artistic act provoked by the power of art.”

That’s right, she’s apparently referring to herself in the third person.

3) Meanwhile, the prosecution demanded a 4,500 euro ($6,300) fine, with the lawyer for the plaintiffs claiming  “I expect compensation for my clients, the artist Cy Twombly whose work has been altered, the Lambert collection whose exhibition was ruined by this business and Mr. Lambert, owner of the work vandalised by Miss Rindy Sam.”

Apparently, artists are entitled to compensation even AFTER they sell their work–yet another reason for me to get back to the finger painting I loved as a child.  After all, it appears as though that’s pretty much what this Twombly guy does.

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