Vandalism at The Brooklyn Museum
Philip Jones Griffiths
USA. New York. On Thursday afternoon (12/16/99) at 3:00PM a 72-year-old man, Dennis Heiner, vandalized what has become the centerpiece to the "Sensation" show at the Brooklyn Museum. "The Painting Of The Virgin Mary" (with elephant dung) by Chris Ofili was singled out as "sick stuff" by NY Mayor Rudolph Guiliani who tried to have the show closed before it even opened to the public on 11/02. This has reignited a debate over the role of art and issues of public decency. The man by-passed security, stepped behind the plexiglass guard and smeared paint from a tube all over the canvas. He was promptly arrested by NY police while photographer Philip Jones Griffiths was escorted from the building.