Andrew Shannon, aged 50, of Willians Way, Ongar, Dublin 15, has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to damaging two Felim Egan paintings — ‘Morning Strand’ and ‘Evening Strand’ — at the Shelbourne Hotel on January 8, 2014.
Mr Shannon has further pleaded not guilty to damaging one Claude Monet painting entitled ‘Argenteuil Basin with a Single Sail Boat’ (1874) at the National Gallery of Ireland on Clare St on June 29, 2012.
The jury have viewed CCTV showing Mr Shannon entering the hotel with a second man and walking around various locations.
John McLoughlin told Kerida Naidoo, prosecuting, he had been in the suite where the paintings were hanging between 4pm and 5pm and there was nothing wrong with them.
He said he had then been on duty at a function in another suite and was standing at the door greeting guests when an older and younger man came along the corridor and passed him.
He said the older man looked to see what was going on in the room and they walked along the corridor. He said this was around or before 6pm.
At 7pm he returned to the earlier function room to clean. He noticed white threads hanging from the blue painting and took a picture on his phone.
He said a colleague drew his attention to the other painting.
Mr McLoughlin said he alerted his boss who said he would deal with it when he came in the next morning.
The trial continues.