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U.K. Police Arrest Suspect Over Defaced Rothko

A gallery worker walks past Seagram murals by Russian-born U.S. painter Mark Rothko at the Tate Modern in London in 2008.
London police have arrested a man on suspicion of defacing a painting by abstract expressionist Mark Rothko at the Tate Modern museum.

A police statement said the 26-year-old suspect was detained on October 8.

The statement did not identify the suspect, but reports said he was believed to be Vladimir Umanets, who is said to be originally from Russia.

In an interview with the British Press Association, Umanets has admitted defacing the Rothko on October 7 to draw attention to his art movement, which he described as “Yellowism.”

The words “Vladimir Umanets a potential piece of Yellowism” were scrawled in black ink or paint on a corner of the Rothko painting.

Rothko, who was born in the Russian empire and later became a U.S. citizen, is renowned for large abstract paintings featuring blocks of color.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP