Vincent Van Gogh, “Le Berceuse” (1888) / Stanley knife
In April 1978, this painting was damaged while on view at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. An unidentified 31-year-old Dutch man used a Stanley knife to make three 30–40cm cuts in the center of the painting before being overpowered by guards and taken into custody.
The man, a struggling artist, said his act had been one of protest against Amsterdam authorities - particularly the Beeldende Kunstenaars Regeling, who had denied him welfare payments that would have supported his artmaking.
Though severely damaged, the painting was eventually restored and returned to public view.