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Painting of Beatles' penises defaced by visitors to Museum of Liverpool

by Chris Bradley. Published Wed 10 Oct 2012 14:15, last updated: 10/10/12
L-R (Top) Paul, George, Ringo, John
L-R (Top) Paul, George, Ringo, John

A controversial artwork of The Beatles' penises created for an exhibition raising cash for a children's charity has been defaced.

The oil painting "The Beatles In America" was hanging in public view at the Museum of Liverpool when it was vandalised.

It is understood that the still soft oil on the canvas was pressed and badly smudged in the attack caused by "visitors".

Artist Jonathan Gent donated the work for Liverpool Love, an exhibition which will end with an auction from which 90per cent of the proceeds will go to Claire House.

The oil on canvass work carries four images of the apparently dessicated genitalia of The Bealtes - each labelled with the name of the four members of the band.

Gent said: "It's as intimate a piece as you can get about The Beatles.

"That was really what I was after because they are such a global thing - this untouchable thing and that is what interests me most about them.

"So this idea of suddenly having their penises on a canvas it was, I guess, about closeness, getting close to this idol in some way."

Claire House is a respite centre for children with life-threatening illnesses based on Wirral, with centres elsewhere on Merseyside.

WAG Coleen Rooney is prominent supporter. Her 12 year-old sister Rosie McLoughlin has often stayed at Claire House to receive care for a rare brain disorder.

Specialists are assessing the damage and are uncertain if the painting can still be auctioned on 17th November.

A Museum of Liverpool spokesperson said: "The Beatles In America has been damaged by a group of visitors to the Liverpool Love exhibition.

"The painting has been removed from display so its condition can be assessed by our conservators.

"The damage is all the more regrettable because along with other works in the exhibition the painting is due to be auctioned to raise funds for children's charity Claire House.

"The decision as to whether the work will be displayed again, and included in the auction, is now dependent on what can be done to return the work to its original condition."


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"I agree with Tim, absolute rubbish!" George, Kansas, USA around 2 years, 9 months ago

"You can see an video of the artist and his painting here: http://vimeo.com/user13637002" Dan, England around 2 years, 9 months ago

"What kind of dickhead would do a thing like that?" Thomas, Toronto, Canada around 2 years, 9 months ago

"The artist, if that is what you can call him must be stark raving bonkers. This is not art. & in the name of a children's charity!! Bonkers" Tim Walton, Birmingham around 2 years, 9 months ago

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