Officials say the vandalism happened Wednesday afternoon at the Menil Collection, where the 1929 painting is one of nine Picassos. Menil spokesman Vance Muse tells the Houston Chronicle that museum security officers detected the vandalism almost immediately, when the paint was barely dry. Chief conservator Brad Epley began repair work immediately, and Muse says the painting has "an excellent prognosis."
The vandal fled and hasn't been arrested. However, police have security video - along with a cellphone video taken by a witness and posted on YouTube.
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