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Officials at the Menil Collection don't know why a man spray-painted Pablo Picasso's "Woman in a Red Armchair" at the museum, but the act wasn't caught just on surveillance cameras.
It also was captured by a bystander with a smartphone camera and subsequently posted on YouTube with a caption naming the alleged perpetrator as a young artist.
The damaged artwork, with the spray paint barely dry, was rushed down the hall to the museum's conservation lab, where chief conservator Brad Epley quickly began its repair.
The 1929 painting, one of nine by Picasso owned by the Menil, has "an excellent prognosis," Muse said.
The vandal, who has not been identified officially, stenciled a small image of a bullfighter killing a bull and the word "Conquista" on the painting. He fled and wasn't caught.
KPRC (Channel 2) interviewed a man who said he captured the vandalism on his phone camera. The witness told Channel 2 the man identified himself as an up-and-coming Mexican-American artist looking to honor Picasso's work.
A Houston man accused of vandalizing a Picasso painting at the Menil museum last year surrendered to authorities Tuesday at the U.S.-Mexico border, his attorney said.
Uriel Landeros has been on the run since Picasso's "Woman in a Red Armchair" was spray-painted June 13 at the Menil Collection.
Landeros gave himself up to U.S. Marshals at the international bridge in McAllen, which was coordinated by his lawyer, Emily Detoto.
"He surrendered at the urging of his family and myself, to come in and get started on the process," Detoto said. She said Landeros, an American citizen, may have been in Mexico since he fled. He is expected to be brought to Harris County in days.
A cellphone video taken by a museum patron allegedly captured Landeros, who is in his early 20s, spray-painting a stencil of a bullfighter killing a bull and the word "conquista" which is Spanish for "to conquer." The 1929 masterpiece is valued at several million dollars.