A NEW portrait of the Queen, which was defaced with spray-paint
by a protester, is undergoing repairs by Westminster Abbey's
A campaigner for Fathers4Justice, Tim Haries, aged 41, from
Doncaster, has been charged with more than £5000 of criminal
damage, after the portrait was sprayed with turquoise paint, while
it was on display in the Abbey Chapter House. He was released on
conditional bail until his next hearing on 28 June.
The portrait, by the Australian artist Ralph Heimans, was
acquired earlier this year by the Abbey for its celebrations of the
60th anniversary of the Coronation. It depicts the Queen standing
on the Cosmati pavement - a spot where every English monarch has
been crowned since it was commissioned by Henry III in the 13th
The painting had been scheduled to be on display until
September, but was removed after the incident. It is now with the
Abbey's team of conservators.
A spokeswoman said: "The Abbey's conservators assessed the
painting immediately after the incident, and began work
immediately. Detailed work by the Abbey conservators continues. The
artist, Ralph Heimans, has been consulted throughout. . . We are
confident it will go back on display."
Chris Bull, a restoration consultant with the Fine Art
Restoration Company, whose clients include the National Trust, said
that complete restoration of the painting could be achieved, but it
could take about eight weeks to finish.
He said: "Spray-paint is potentially harder to remove, as it has
a fine finish and is a more chemical mix of paint. But it can be
removed by using different kinds of solvents, applied with cotton
buds, which loosen the paint, and it has to be neutralised each
time to ensure it doesn't eat into the paintwork around it. It has
to be done very slowly, in layers. . .
"But, however good the removal is, the painting will have to be
retouched, and I imagine the artist would want to get involved in
doing that. Then the whole painting would need to be