DENVER (CBS4)– The Clyfford Still Museum hopes to repair a painting that was damaged by one of its visitors.

Carmen Tisch has been formally charged with criminal mischief for allegedly scratching, hitting and leaning against the painting at about 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 29, 2011.

According to the Denver Police report, Tisch, 36, then pulled down her pants while leaning against the painting and urinated as she sat on the floor. It is unknown whether any urine got on the painting.

tisch carmen Clyfford Still Museum Reacts To Damaged Painting

Carmen Tisch (credit: Denver Dist. Atty.)

The museum released a statement regarding the destruction to their property Thursday afternoon. Here is a portion of that statement:

“The painting involved in the incident is still being assessed, and our initial evaluations indicate that it can be treated and returned to public exhibition. Early estimated treatment cost is in the range of $10,000.

“Since opening in November, the Clyfford Still Museum has welcomed thousands of visitors who have enjoyed the collection and acted respectfully and appropriately. This extremely rare and random act of criminal mischief is highly deplorable; however, it will not deter us from performing our mission and continuing to provide a world-class art experience to our visitors.”

The Clyfford Still Museum at 1250 Bannock Street opened to the public Nov. 18, 2011. Still was among the first generation of abstract expressionists following World War II. He died in 1980. His will specified that his estate go to an American city willing to establish a museum of his work. His widow, Patricia Still, selected Denver as the site in 2004.

Tisch remains in custody in the Denver County Jail on a $20,000 bond. She is scheduled to appear in court Friday to be formally advised of the charges.


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