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Guerrilla painter angers art museums

As the crowds trickled through the Sully wing of the Louvre one recent afternoon, a stocky, middle-aged Frenchman looked around furtively before whipping a gilt-framed painting from under his leather jacket and fixing it to the wall.

world Updated: Apr 16, 2010 00:24 IST
GNS

As the crowds trickled through the Sully wing of the Louvre one recent afternoon, a stocky, middle-aged Frenchman looked around furtively before whipping a gilt-framed painting from under his leather jacket and fixing it to the wall.

Placed alongside the august portraits of Salle 59, the miniature — a vanité depicting two skulls — held its own amid the splendour of the room’s more conventional treasures.

But its presence was not welcome and when the artist returned to see it today it had been removed by irate museum staff. “Now I have to write a letter to the president director-general or someone to get it back. It’s pathetic,” he said.

Pascal Guérineau, 47, has in recent weeks become the bête noire of Paris’s most prestigious galleries and their eagle-eyed security guards.

The stunt this week was not his first offence. Last month he hung one of his own works in the Musée Maillol in between a Christian Boltanski and a drawing by Jean-Michel Basquiat. The museum, which only spotted the rogue picture at closing time, was not amused.