Woman Scratches, Rubs Butt Over $30M Painting

Police say she was drunk

By Greg Wilson
|  Thursday, Jan 5, 2012  |  Updated 8:50 AM PDT
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This work by Clyfford Still, titled "D No. 1," was not damaged by a drunken woman.

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A Colorado woman dropped her pants at a museum and rubbed her rear end all over a painting valued at $30 million, according to police.

Carmen Tisch, 36, was arrested after scratching, punching and, well, rubbing her butt against Clyfford Still's "1957-J no.2" and causing an estimated $10,000 damage to the artwork at the Clyfford Still Museum in Denver. Police believe she was drunk during the late December incident.

"You have to wonder where her friends were," a spokeswoman for the district attorney's office told the Denver Post.

Tisch was charged with felony criminal mischief on Wednesday and has been held on a $20,000 bond since the incident in late December, said Lynn Kimbrough, spokeswoman for the Denver District Attorney's Office.

The oil-on-canvas abstract expressionist painting was spared additional damage when the woman tried to urinate on it but apparently missed.

"It doesn't appear she urinated on the painting or that the urine damaged it, so she's not being charged with that," Kimbrough said according to the Denver Post.

Still, who lived from 1904 to 1980, was considered one of the most influential of the American post-World War Two abstract expressionist artists, although he was not as well known as others such as Jackson Pollock. Four of his works were auctioned by Sotheby's last year for $114 million to endow the Denver museum, which opened in November.

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