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Man charged after painting slashed at UK National Gallery

Associated Press logo Associated Press 3/19/2017

LONDON (AP) — A man has been charged with criminal damage after a painting in Britain's National Gallery was slashed in front of shocked visitors.

Witnesses say a man lashed out with what looked like a screwdriver at Thomas Gainsborough's 18th-century portrait of a wealthy young couple, "Mr. and Mrs. William Hallett" — better known as "The Morning Walk" — at the gallery on Saturday.

The gallery on London's Trafalgar Square says the suspect was detained by staff and visitors, and later arrested.

It says damage to the painting "is limited to two long scratches which have penetrated the paint layers, but not the supporting canvas."

The Metropolitan Police said Sunday that 54-year-old Keith Gregory, of no fixed address, was charged with criminal damage. He is due to appear in court on Monday.

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