Cut Off Their Hands? Liberal Climate Activists Indicted On Federal Charges Of Smearing Paint On Degas Sculpture Case At National Gallery Of Art In D.C.


(Yahoo) Two climate activists who allegedly smeared paint on a case surrounding 19th century French artist Edgar Degas’ “Little Dancer Aged Fourteen” sculpture at Washington, D.C.’s National Gallery of Art last month were taken into custody Friday and face federal charges.

Timothy Martin, 53, and Joanna Smith, 53, both surrendered themselves to authorities Friday after they were indicted on charges of conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States and injury to a National Gallery of Art exhibit, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C., said in a release.


Martin and Smith, along with other unindicted co-conspirators with the climate group Declare Emergency, walked into the art museum with the intent of damaging the sculpture, the indictment alleges.

Degas' "Little Dancer Aged Fourteen" with paint smeared on its caseTimothy Martin and Joanna Smith have been indicted for allegedly defacing the case of Degas’ “little Dancer Aged Fourteen” last month.

The two allegedly smuggled the paint in plastic water bottles and had other conspirators film them smearing the paint of the base and the see-through case, while sometimes hitting the roughly 143-year-old priceless artwork with force, on their phones, according to the release.

They also alerted two reporters from the Washington Post who arrived and took photos of the vandalism.

The April 27 incident caused $2,400 in damage and forced staff to remove “Little Dancer” from the galleries for 10 days for repairs, the release said.

The vandalism is being investigated by the FBI’s Art Crime Team, with assistance from National Gallery of Art Police, and U.S. Park Police.

Climate activists smearing paint on the case of Degas' "Little Dancer."
Climate protesters smear paint on the case that houses Edgar Degas’s Little Dancer Aged Fourteen at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

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