The Lighter Side:
Punch a Painting, Go to Jail
In 2012, Andrew Shannon punched a Monet painting valued at $10 million. The incident occurred at the National Gallery of Ireland, located in Dublin. The painting, entitled Argenteuil Basin with a Single Sailboat, painted in 1874, apparently represented something much greater to the man who decided to attack it.
Right after his initial arrest, Shannon said the attack represented his way of “getting back at the state.” Later on, when he appeared in court, he changed his tune. Instead of an “attack against the state,” he said the whole thing was just a big misunderstanding. He said he didn’t punch the painting, he “fell into it.” He told the court he had felt faint and fell. The painting just happened to be in his way.
Fortunately, the National Gallery has plenty of CCTV cameras and the whole thing was recorded. What did those cameras see? They clearly showed Andrew Shannon very deliberately thrusting his fist through the Monet painting. In December of 2014, he was sentenced to five years in prison, and Argenteuil Basin with a Single Sailboat is back on display after being fully restored.