So forget about deterrence. In the France that this judge believes in, if you're willing to fork over a couple thousand dollars, you can put your mark on a highly valuable work of art and get famous doing it. Of course, Sam is herself an artist, and now you know her name.
IN THE COMMENTS: Reacting to Drill SGT who said "put on your Artist hat and explain a market that values a blank canvas at $2.8 million?," Palladian writes:
I wondered how long it would be before we got some reactionary "it's a blank canvas!" comment. It's worth 2.8 million because that's what someone was willing to pay for it. That's how markets work. End of story.
As for this incident, Europeans, for some reason, love to vandalize artwork, and European judges love to dole out light, friendly, non-threatening judgments. Sometimes the vandal is a crazy person. Sometimes the vandal is a brainless twat like this one who does it for some political or "performance art" reason. This happens because the vulgar, nihilistic stew that bubbles at the bottom of the contemporary art world can soften the bones and render to jelly even the most stalwart and talented artists thrown into it. When you have the editor-in-chief of a well-known European art magazine writing things like this:"In my opinion, the arrest of Brener [who spray painted a green dollar sign onto a Kasimir Malevich painting] is an offence to the artist’s freedom of expression and, as such, a repressive act. Brener is no hooligan, but a transgressive artist with a strong personality, just as much as Malevich was the same, in his own time."
...then it's not difficult to see why these acts of destruction continue to occur, and why an art world that has come to value fame above all other things makes destruction seem attractive to its weak-minded bottom feeders desperate to "transgress the boundaries".
The best part about this particular piece of vandalism is that it's not even original:"[in 1977] Ruth van Herpen kisse[d] a white monochrome painting by artist Jo Baer in the Oxford Museum of Modern Art, smearing her lipstick across it. In her trial hearing, she explains, “[The work] looked so cold. I only kissed it to cheer it up.”
How lame are you when you can't even be original in your vandalism?
I think the willful destruction of artwork should be a capital offense, punishable by a public hanging. Call it performance art.