Portrait of Queen Elizabeth defaced

By Kirstin Buick
14 June 2013

A portrait of Britain's Queen Elizabeth hanging in Westminster Abbey has been defaced by an assailant spray-painting it.

A portrait of Britain's Queen Elizabeth hanging in Westminster Abbey has been defaced.

Ralph Heimans' official painting of the monarch ? which has only been on display in the Chapter House part of the historical building in London since May ? was vandalised by a visitor brandishing a can of spray paint, according to BBC News.

A spokesman for the Abbey said, "In an incident at lunchtime today [13 June], a visitor to the abbey sprayed paint on the Ralph Heimans portrait of the Queen presently on display in the Chapter House.

"Until work can be done to remedy the damage it will, very regrettably, not be possible to have the painting on public view."

The picture was specially commissioned for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations and is the only portrait made of the monarch in her Diamond Jubilee year last year. It was completed by the Australian-born artist in March last year.

The artwork's full title is The Coronation Theatre, Westminster Abbey: A Portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and it was previously exhibited in the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra, Australia, before it came to London, where it was a huge success, attracting more than 100 000 visitors.

The painting shows the 87-year-old monarch standing in the Sacrarium of Westminster Abbey, but was painted during a sitting at Buckingham Palace to achieve the best possible resemblance.

The dramatic incident comes just nine days after the royal family attended a special service at the Abbey to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Queen's Coronation.

-Bang Showbiz

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