Man charged with defacing priceless Picasso painting at Houston museum turns self in

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by KHOU.com staff

khou.com

Posted on January 8, 2013 at 8:05 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 9 at 7:54 PM

HOUSTON—A Houston artist accused of vandalizing a painting by Picasso has now turned himself in to authorities in south Texas.

Uriel Landeros, 22, allegedly defaced a piece called “Woman in a Red Armchair” at the Menil Collection in June of last year. The painting has been part of The Menil Collection since 1956.

The whole thing was videotaped by a “witness” and posted on YouTube.

The video shows the suspect calmly approaching the priceless artwork and using spray paint to stencil a bull and the word “Conquista,” which means conquer in Spanish.

The YouTube poster describes the video as a tribute “In Dedication to the art beast Pablo Picasso.”

Landeros later released a series of Youtube videos claiming he did it to protest corrupt leaders in the United States and Mexico.

Though he’s publicly admitted to defacing the work of art at the Menil collection, his lawyer said don’t expect a guilty plea.

“We intend to enter a plea of not guilty. In a case like this, although its criminal mischief and graffiti, I believe because the value, or the alleged value, of the damage is so high, my anticipation is they’ll be officering him substantial time in the penitentiary,” Emily Detoto said Tuesday.

Landeros will be brought back to Houston to face charges. The charges are both third degree felonies.  Each charge carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.

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