One of the young week’s strangest news stories got a little stranger today, as the woman who attacked a Paul Gauguin painting in Washington’s National Gallery yesterday claimed today that she was a CIA agent.
Suspect Susan Burns told police that the reason for yesterday’s assault, in which she grabbed Gauguin’s “Two Tahitian Women” and started punching it, was because the painting was “very homosexual.” She explained further: “I was trying to remove it. I think it should be burned … I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.”
(The painting was unharmed in the attack.)
OK, so obviously this woman is somewhat mentally-ill, and it’s really not nice to go around pointing and laughing at her. Instead, we’re going to try to help the next probably-crazy person. Instead of saying you’re from the CIA, here are some better excuses from when you’re caught defacing artwork:
»”Don’t worry, I’m a freelance art-restorer. I’m just retouching this painting by hand. It’s a very complicated process.”
»”The painting had a weird bulge on it. I was just punching it to make it flat again.”
»”I saw the painting’s eyes move. A criminal must be hiding out behind it!”
»”I work for the gallery. I’ve been instructed to cut down our supply of paintings to increase the value of the ones that remain.”
»”I’m an art expert. This painting is a forgery! (I was just punching it because forgery makes me so angry!)”
»”As a descendant of [ARTIST], this painting is my birthright, and I can do with it what I wish!”
»”I was just taking the painting down because this is actually my frame, and I kind of need it back? Yeah, I’m friends with the museum, so I lent it to them because I had a spare frame, but now I’ve got something to put in it? It’s a long story.”
Follow Nate Jones on Twitter at @kn8.