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26-Year-Old Wlodzimierz Umanets Arrested For Defacing Tate Rothko (UPDATE 7)

by Hrag Vartanian on October 8, 2012

This just in via Twitter:

We will post more information here as it becomes available.

UPDATE 1: ITV has this information:

The 26-year-old man, who has not been named, was arrested about 9pm this evening by Sussex Police — on behalf of the MPS [Metropolitan Police Service] — at an address in Worthing.

The suspect is currently in custody at a Sussex police station and will be escorted overnight to a police station in London by officers from the MPS, police added.

UPDATE 2: The BBC has confirmed that the arrested man is Mr. Umanets. Yesterday, we suggested the culprit was Vladmir Umanets as a result of the sleuthing of artist/blogger Greg Allen.

UPDATE 3: Bob Duggan of Big Think rips into the Rothko vandal:

Tagging “Black on Maroon” with a graffiti pen, however, isn’t just art vandalism. In this case, it’s the desecration of a grave.

UPDATE 4: Time Magazine has reported that the artist who defaced Rothko’s “Black on Maroon” (1958) is homeless.

UPDATE 5: SkyNews explains what Mr. Umaniec is being charged with, and that his legal name is not in fact Vladimir but the Polish version, Wlodzimierz:

The artist proves himself to be a blabbering idiot in a Telegraph video that contains audio of the artist. In it he describes feeling like he is being attacked for defacing the Rothko:

UPDATE 6: The @thisisyellowism account has started tweeting again.

UPDATE 7: Umaniec has appeared in court and Reuters has the following report:

The 26 year-old Polish national, who has lived in Britain for the last three years but has no fixed address in the country, was refused bail and will appear in court again on October 16.

His lawyer told the local London area Camberwell Green magistrates court that Umaniec would be denying the charge and was willing to stand trial.

“This may be cynical but he might welcome it, so he can have the discussion he wishes to have about the art,” said defence solicitor David Clark.

Sounds like we should expect the artist to be grandstanding at his trial.

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  • http://twitter.com/JeffreyMCollins Jeffrey Collins

    He better make sure I never find him.

    • Erik Kennedy

      Why? What are you going to do? Fuck him up? Write ‘Nobody Messes with Rothko’ on his arse in marker pen?

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