Screaming “This is evil,” a woman tried to pull Gauguin’s “Two Tahitian Women” from a gallery wall Friday and banged on the picture’s clear plastic covering, said Pamela Degotardi of New York, who was there. “She was really pounding it with her fists,” Degotardi said. “It was like this weird surreal scene that one doesn’t expect at the National Gallery.” Gallery spokeswoman Deborah Ziska said no damage to the 1899 painting was immediately apparent after the 4:45 p.m. incident. But she said a more thorough examination will be conducted Monday. In the painting, both breasts of one woman are exposed, as is one of the second woman’s breasts. The woman who allegedly attacked the painting was “immediately restrained and detained” by the museum’s federal protection ser vices officers, who charged her with destruction of property and attempted theft, Ziska said in a statement. The painting’s alleged attacker was “tackled by a guy who was visiting the gallery,” Degotardi said. She described him as a social worker from the Bronx.The crazed (unidentified) lady appeared in court on Saturday. The room that housed the painting also included 13 other Gauguin works. There was no indication of any damage to the other works there. The $80 million painting, which measures 37 inches by 28 1/2 inches, is on loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. It is part of a 120-piece Gauguin exhibit that opened at the National Gallery in late February. Titled “Gauguin: Maker of Myth,” it is to run through June 5.
Update: The woman's name is Susan Burns. She lives in Alexandria, Virginia and she's batshit crazy! According to the police report obatained by the folks over at the Smoking Gun, the 53-year-old, who was at the museum to celebrate her birthday, told police: "I feel that Gauguin is evil. He has nudity and is bad for the children. He has two women in the painting and it is very homosexual. I was trying to remove it. I think it should be burned. I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you." Cuckoo! Cuckoo! Cuckoo!!!
Sidebar: She was charged with destruction of government property and attempted theft.
This is her mug shot.