19/03/2017 23:35 GMT

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

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

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.


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.

Columbia Pictures

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.