(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.
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.
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.