Tourist saw accused lift 'fist like a hammer' before Monet painting damaged

Tourist saw accused lift 'fist like a hammer' before Monet painting damaged

A court has heard a tourist from New Zealand saw a man lift his "fist like a hammer" to a Monet painting in the National Gallery.

Andrew Shannon of Willans Way, Ongar, in Dublin denies causing €7m worth of criminal damage to the famous French impressionist art work, entitled 'Argenteuil Basin with a Single Sailboat' last year.

Toni Ashton, a tourist from New Zealand visiting the National Gallery, told the court a man seemed to appear from nowhere and lunge at the Monet painting with quite a lot of force.

She compared his fist to a hammer while her husband Michael, another eyewitness, said he saw the man lift his fist and put it through the painting.

The court heard he grabbed the man who said he felt faint, had a heart condition and would like some water.

Andrew Shannon admits his hand tore the 1874 painting valued at €10m but his lawyers have pointed to a history of heart problems and the 48-year-old former French polisher denies criminal damage.


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