Man scratches priceless Gainsborough painting at The National Gallery

The 63-year-old was charged after allegedly attacking The Morning Walk with a screwdriver

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A 63-year-old man has been charged after reportedly scratching The Morning Walk painting by Thomas Gainsborough at The National Gallery on Saturday afternoon.

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Keith Gregory allegedly attacked the 1785 painting with a screwdriver.

According to the BBC, he was restrained by staff and visitors at the London gallery before he was arrested by the police.

The gallery said scratches had penetrated the paint layers but not torn through the canvas.

In a statement, a spokesman said: "The damage is limited to two long scratches which have penetrated the paint layers, but not the supporting canvas".

The Guardian reports that the east wing of the gallery, where the painting is located, was evacuated and remained off limits for about two hours while the man was held.

He was charged with causing criminal damage and is to appear at Westminster Magistrates Court on Monday.

One witness took to Reddit and wrote: "One of the staff shouted at everyone to move aside. An older man, surrounded by about 6-8 staff, was quickly taken past us."

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