Smashing news for art lovers as Spanish man is finally sentenced for damaging a Picasso

Spanish man Picasso

VANDALISED: Justice for man who damaged famous Picasso painting. CREDIT: Steve Vidler/ Alamy

In an act that will delight lovers of art, and more specifically, fans of Picasso, a man from the Murcian town of San Javier was sentenced for his crimes.

THE 20-year-old was finally sentenced to 18-months in prison, by the British judicial system, after vandalising and damaging Picasso’s famous painting, ‘Bust of a Woman’, back in December 2019.
Shakeel Ryan Massey struck the painting, which is estimated to be worth more than €22 million, several times before throwing it on the ground.

‘Bust of a Woman’, the portrait Picasso made of his lover Dora Maar, a French artist who was reportedly abused both physically and psychologically by the Malaga-born painter, was being displayed in London’s Tate Modern Gallery when the incident took place.

The young man, who completed a bachelor’s degree in Plastic Arts at the University of Cartagena, had planned the attack on the painting so it wasn’t a spur of the moment decision.
Calling himself “El indiako d’el Mirador”, Massey said goodbye to friends in a note he shared on social media, exclaiming, “I don’t think it will be one of the best of our times, but it will be the most prolific, and I hope to be back in a couple of years having achieved everything you thought I was capable of and more.”
The letter ended with a “long live Murcia and long live El Mirador” and was uploaded minutes before damaging the painting.

Massey apparently hit the painting several times with a padlock before ripping it off the wall and throwing it to the ground.

Costs to repair the damaged caused by the Murcian man could cost around £350,000 and could take up to over a year and a half.

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Written by

Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at