Monet Damaged by Intruders at Orsay Museum in Paris


A group of drunk people somehow got into the Musee d’Orsay in Paris and punched a hole through Monet’s “Le Pont d’Argenteuil” over the weekend.

The AP reports: “No arrests were immediately made and there were no signs the group was armed, Albanel told reporters at a news conference. The intruders ‘tried to force other doors’ before succeeding at a back door, ‘even though it had big bolts,’ she said, wondering aloud if the bolts might have been faulty. The painting hung on the ground floor with other Impressionist masterpieces. Albanel said the painting could be restored, but she deplored the damage.”

I’m not a huge Monet fan either, but this seems a bit extreme.



  1. Matty says

    Sad. It seems like every time I read the news I’m reminded of how the human race are regressing to a bunch neanderthals. There’s no respect for anything any more, much less any class.

  2. nic says

    awww, how can anyone not like monet (and impressionism)?

    how is it possible that a group of drunks could museum-crash where millions of $s in artwork is exhibited? it boggles the mind.

  3. says

    It is pretty ridiculous that a bunch of drunk idiots could jack up a door on a museum. I think this isn’t the last we’ll hear of this…

    I disagree with Becks07, I think there is and always have been a % of the population that are wired to get off on destroying what others enjoy (political statement or not).

    My ex really got off on blowing a whistle or screaming at 4AM to wake people up. The Cleveland museum of art still has the legitimate copy of the thinker on the front steps, complete with bomb damage from the 60’s. There are only two copies and the original in the world, and somebody thought it would be awesome to destroy one of them.

  4. Mark says

    I was never much of a Monet fan, until I visited the Chicago Institute of Art once. I walked into a gallery and literally gasped. There were several Monet’s that seemed to be a study of light in a hayfield that were astounding. I sat on a bench and looked at them for about an hour. There is no way a print would have done these paintings justice. If you haven’t seen the originals, you really need to before you pass judgement. The man was a genius. As for damaging his works, I can not imagine how anyone could justify such a crime in their own mind. Very sad.

  5. Mark says

    I second Mark’s comments. There are some rooms at the Musee d’Orsay that are so dense with Monet, van Gogh etc that when you walk into them it’s dizzying. The originals are much more powerful than what you experience with flat reproductions.

  6. Richard says

    It’s very likely that the damage done to that painting is more than any of the vandals will earn collectively in a lifetime. So, maybe, in their warped minds, this is their 15 seconds of fame and accomplishment (or non-accomplishment). The punishment should fit the crime — they should pay for the restoration, and for the lost value in what is now a damaged piece of art. Maybe mandatory art courses while in prison would help, too.

  7. american_in_paris says

    As Mark said, they didn’t just sneak in. “Nuit Blanche” is annual with events all night long all over town; many museums are open late into the night and so on. It’s usually pretty fun – this year, for example , they projected Michel Gondry videos in a 19th-century theater. But France had also won a decisive rugby victory over New Zealand that night so the subsequent celebration of the match brought out an entirely different crowd and pushed alcohol consumption to ungodly levels. It was a bad night for them to hold an event like this….voilà

  8. american_in_paris says

    I take it back! I just read at that they literally did sneak in through the back door. It’s great to see that part of their cultural legacy is so shoddily secured.

    And how on earth can you not be a Monet fan? You only need to go to this (poorly secured) museum once to be blown away. His tableaux are massive achievements and utterly breathtaking.

    One last thing: during the French revolution, the revolutionnaires destroyed all sorts of sacred objects and defaced buildings all belonging to the church, acts that we would now might see at incomprehensible and barbaric, but to the people then, they were destroying relics of an incredibly oppressive regime, an act of extreme political defiance. I don’t think the Monet vandals had political motifs, but just as easily as one man’s trash can be another’s treasure, I suppose a case could always be made for the other way around.

    But this was a band of drunken idiots. Sigh.

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