A Colorado woman has been arrested and is being held on a $200,000 bond for vandalizing a painting worth over $30 million.
Carmen Tisch, a 36-year-old woman from Denver, Co. was apparently drunk when she leaned against the painting with her bare buttocks and proceeded to urinate on herself, after punching and scratching the piece repeatedly.
Tisch visibly harmed the painting, causing an estimated $10,000 worth of damage to the “1957-J-No.2” Clyfford Still oil canvas painting.
The incident happened last week on Dec. 29 and a spokeswoman for the Denver district attorney’s office, Lynn Kimrough told the Denver Post that it doesn’t appear as though Tisch urinated on the painting.
She did ask why Tisch was able to behave with such conduct at the Clyfford Still Museum, a Colorado museum home to around 2,400 pieces of artwork by the late expressionist artist.
“You have to wonder where her friends were,” she said.
Tisch has a criminal background with a conviction for driving under the influence, and in the past has also faced a charge of aggregative burglary that was eventually dismissed. She is set to appear in court on Friday.
It is unclear if museum employees knew that the woman was intoxicated before allowing her into the museum.
The museum, which opened its doors this past November, released a statement regarding the incident saying an “incident of criminal mischief took place” on Dec. 29.
“Museum officials are cooperating with the authorities regarding the situation and are in the process of further assessing the incident,” the statement added.
Museum officials are not describing the damage to the piece and are not directly commenting on the incident.
Still, who died in 1980, was a leading figure in Abstract Expressionism and many artists have credited his work as providing the foundation for the artistic movement.
The paintings are owned by the city and county of Denver.