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Suspected Mark Rothko vandal charged in London

Suspected Mark Rothko vandal charged in London
A view of Mark Rothko's Seagram mural paintings at the Tate Modern in London. Police said they have charged a Polish national in connection to the defacement of one of the works. (Graham Barclay / For The Times)

Police in London have charged a man with vandalizing a Mark Rothko painting Sunday at the Tate Modern museum.

Scotland Yard said in a release that Wlodzimierz Umaniec, a 26-year-old Polish national, had been arrested in connection with the crime. Police said Umaniec also goes by the name "Vladimir Umanets" -- which was scrawled on the Rothko painting.

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The damaged artwork was part of Rothko's Seagram mural series created in 1958. The incident took place Sunday during normal public hours. The vandal wrote on the bottom of the painting "Vladimir Umanets '12" and "a potential piece of yellowism."

Umaniec, who is expected to appear in court in London on Wednesday, has been charged with one count of criminal damage in excess of 5,000 pounds (about $8,000). Police said Umanlec did not have a permanent address.

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