A portrait of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II that was commissioned to mark her 60 years on the throne has been defaced at Westminster Abbey in London. The painting, created by artist Ralph Heimans, has been taken down from public viewing.
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.