Man jailed for 2 years for defacing Rothko work

LONDON (AP) — A Polish man who defaced a Mark Rothko painting in London's Tate Modern gallery with black paint has been sentenced to two years in jail.

Wlodzimierz Umaniec, also known as Vladimir Umanets, was arrested after visitors discovered a scrawl across the bottom of a Rothko mural on Oct 7.

The 26-year-old later said he had written on the painting to draw attention to Yellowism, an artistic movement he co-founded.

He was sentenced Thursday at Inner London Crown Court. He had earlier pleaded guilty to criminal damage over 5,000 pounds ($8,000). It's estimated restoring the painting will cost around 200,000 pounds ($320,000) and take up to 18 months.

Russian-born Rothko, who died in 1970, was a leading figure in American abstract painting, renowned for large-scale works featuring bold blocks of color.

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