<i> From Associated Press </i>

A Soviet newspaper on Wednesday disclosed for the first time that a priceless Rembrandt painting was slashed twice with a knife and had dark acid thrown on it last summer.

The government newspaper Izvestia said the June 15 attack on Rembrandt’s portrait of “Danae” at the Hermitage Fine Arts Museum in Leningrad was carried out by a 48-year-old man with a history of mental illness.

The man, identified only by his Lithuanian surname of Maigis, was diagnosed as a schizophrenic after the attack and sent to a psychiatric clinic by a Leningrad court, the newspaper said.

Maigis had not worked for seven years and had lived without residence papers required by Soviet law for two years, it said.

Doctors in the Lithuanian city of Kaunas detected mental disorders in Maigis in 1977, it said.


Izvestia said it would report at an unspecified later date about the restoration of the Dutch master’s work, which was painted in 1636.

Boris B. Piotrovsky, director of the Hermitage, said in June that the painting, one of the star items of the Hermitage’s renowned collection of 17th-Century Dutch works, “will reappear in all its former beauty.”

Piotrovsky said then that the painting had suffered only surface damage from an unspecified liquid being thrown at it.