UK

Man Arrested For Slashing £10m National Gallery Masterpiece With Screwdriver

Paint scraped off Thomas Gainsborough's The Morning Walk, which featured in Skyfall.

19/03/2017 23:35 GMT

A man has been charged on suspicion of causing criminal damage to a valuable painting at the National Gallery, Metropolitan Police said.

The National Gallery confirmed that the painting in question is The Morning Walk, by Thomas Gainsborough.

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Keith Gregory, 63, of no fixed abode, was charged on Sunday March 19 following the alleged incident at one of London’s best-loved galleries on Saturday afternoon.

He has been remanded in custody and will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

Gainsborough art expert Hugh Belsey told The Sun: “It is one of his most iconic and symbolic works - easily worth at least £10million.”

The 1785 portrait - also known as Mr & Mrs Hallett - is in the background in Skyfall as Daniel Craig as 007 meets new Q, played by Ben Whishaw.

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It features squire William Hallett and Elizabeth Stephen, both 21, shortly before their marriage.

Gallery assistants reportedly rushed to detain the man, with members of the public helping to restrain him.