A portrait of
A statement published on the official website of Westminster Abbey said that the incident occurred at lunchtime on Thursday. A visitor sprayed paint on the portrait, which hangs in the Chapter House section of the historic church.
"Until work can be done to remedy the damage it will – very regrettably – not be possible to have the painting on public view," said the statement.
According to reports in the British press, a group called Fathers4Justice is claiming responsibility for the vandalism. British police reportedly detained a 41-year-old man in connection with the crime.
Fathers4Justice is a group that advocates for divorced and separated fathers.
Heimans is an Australian-born artist who was commissioned to create the large-scale portrait for the queen's diamond jubilee.