A 49-year-old Dublin man was sentenced to five years in prison last Thursday for punching through a Claude Monet painting worth $10 million.
In 2012 Andrew Shannon attacked Monet’s 1874 original “Argenteuil Basin with a Single Sailboat” in Dublin’s National Gallery of Ireland, leaving a gaping tear down the middle of the canvas.
According to Metro news, after his arrest the Ballymun man told authorities it was an attempt to get back at the state; however in court last Thursday he said he had accidentally fallen into the painting after feeling faint because of a heart condition.
After only 90 minutes of deliberation using the CCTV footage, the jury found Shannon guilty. He was sentenced to five years in prison and is banned from all art galleries for 15 months thereafter.
At the scene of the crime, security had found paint stripper in Shannon’s bag, but according to the Irish Times, the judge concluded that it was for his job as a French polisher, someone who protects and preserves wood furniture.
According to the Daily Express, 48 artworks, books and antiques worth over $124,000 were seized from Shannon’s home, some of which were stolen from Belfast, Dublin and Yorkshire. Shannon had numerous previous convictions for burglary and theft of antiques.
After a year in prison, Shannon did have heart surgery, but the surgeon said that his condition would not have caused dizzy spells.
A source told the Irish Mirror: “Shannon was a big threat to society. He has a corrupt perversion of the mind, a complete sociopath.
“He never gave a motive for attacking the Monet but spite played a big part in it. He wanted to get back at the state. He would have had the opinion, ‘If I can’t have it then no one else will have it.’”
“Argenteuil Basin with a Single Sailboat” is now back on display following restoration.