Washington, Jan 17: A US judge ruled Wednesday that a man accused of vandalising a priceless Picasso painting at a Houston art museum should remain jailed because he is a flight risk, Xinhua reported.
Uriel Landeros, a US citizen, fled to Mexico after the incident. After surrendering to authorities at the US-Mexico border last week, he said he did not intend to destroy the painting but that his actions were an act of social and political defiance.
State District Judge Vanessa Velasquez agreed that Landeros, 22, charged with graffiti and criminal mischief felonies in the June 13 vandalism, posed a flight risk, according to The Dallas Morning News.
He was reportedly seen on a museum surveillance camera last June spray-painting Pablo Picasso’s 1929 “Woman in a Red Armchair” in a room at the Menil Collection art musem and then running off. The act was also captured by a bystander with a smartphone camera and later posted on YouTube.
The accused vandal left behind an image of a bullfighter, a bull and the word “conquista,” which means “conquest” in Spanish.
The Menil, the museum which owns Picasso’s “Woman in a Red Armchair”, said the painting is “priceless”.