Picasso’s Bust of a Woman portrays the photographer Dora Maar, reportedly Picasso’s lover. Steve Vidler-Alamy

A 20-year-old man has been accused of attacking a Picasso painting worth some $26 million at a London art gallery, according to a report.

Shakeel Massey, of north London, was busted on a criminal damage charge for allegedly ripping the painting “Bust of a Woman” at the Tate Modern gallery on Saturday, according to the BBC.

The oil painting — which depicts Picasso’s lover Dora Maar in a semi-abstract style, wearing a hat and green clothing while sitting on a black metal chair — was painted in Paris in May 1944, during the final months of the Nazi occupation.


“The work of art is with our conservation team for expert assessment. Tate Modern remains open,” a gallery rep told the BBC.

Massey, who appeared at the Camberwell Green Magistrates’ Court, was ordered held without bail until his next hearing on Jan. 30 at the Inner London Crown Court.

He indicated that he will deny the charge.


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