Man jailed after Tate Modern Picasso painting attack

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Picasso’s Bust of a Woman was ripped off the Tate Modern’s walls

A man has been jailed after punching a £20m Picasso painting and ripping it from the wall at the Tate Modern art gallery in London.

Shakeel Massey, 20, admitted criminal damage after attacking the artist’s 1944 painting Bust of a Woman.

Experts told Inner City Crown court that its repair would take up to 18 months and cost up to £350k.

Massey, of Clarendon Court, Willesden Green, London, was sentenced to 18 months in prison on Tuesday.

The court was told that the attack, on 28 December last year, involved Massey punching the painting several times with a padlock before pulling it off the wall and throwing it to the ground.

During sentencing, Judge Donne RD QC said Massey’s actions were nothing more than an attempt to “seek notoriety and five minutes of fame”.

Upon his arrest, Massey told police his actions were “a performance”, the court heard.

According to Tate, the artwork depicts Pablo Picasso’s lover Dora Maar and was painted in Paris in May 1944, during the final months of the Nazi occupation.

It is owned by a private collector, but has been on loan to Tate Modern since 2011.