A man who punched a hole in an £8million Claude Monet painting has been jailed this month for 6 years and subsequently banned from all art galleries and museums. Way back in 2012 Andrew Shannon calmly strolled into the Nation Gallery in Dublin and viscously attacked the 1874 painting 'Argenteuil Basin with a Single Sail Boat' by the French Impressionist artist. Shannon initially said his motive was 'to get back at the state' but during the trial he changed his story, saying that he had felt faint and accidentally fell into the artwork.
Shannon was carrying a can of paint stripper with him at the time and had previously been eyeing up the 'Taking of Christ' by Caravaggio before settling on the Monet. The artwork was ripped apart with a devastation three-branch tear being made by Shannon's fist. The painting has just gone back on display after an epic restoration process, which took nearly two years to complete.
Before the damaged painting was removed from the gallery conservators examined the area for any signs of loose or flaking paint with the fragments being collected from the floor. The fragments were then examined at a microscopic level to determine what paint Monet had used. The broken fibres of the canvas were then painstaking aligned with the use of high-powered microscopes and glued back together.
Over 100 miniscule piece of paint measuring between 0.3mm and 1mm were delicately reinserted into the painting, returning the masterpiece to its former glory. Its not the first major work to be vandalised and subsequently restored, earlier this year a famous Rothko painting that had be tagged went back on display at the Tate Modern after undergoing a similarly lengthy process.