Famed performance artist Marina Abramovic was assaulted by a man who smashed a paper portrait over her head after a book signing event in Florence, Italy on 23 September, reported The New York Times.
The Serbian-born artist was in the courtyard of the Palazzo Strozzi when a stranger approached carrying a self-made portrait of her in a wooden frame.
“He came forward, staring me straight in the eyes and I smiled thinking that it was a present for me,”Abramovic said in a statement issued by the museum, according to The New York Times.
“In a fraction of a second I saw his expression change and become violent. You know, danger always comes very quickly, like death.”
Abramovic spoke with the man and asked why he did it. He said “I had to do it for my art.”
She told him “You don’t make art through violence against others.”
In a video of the incident published by La Repubblica, a man is seen being held on the ground by security, with the damaged portrait beside him. The alleged attacker is a Czech-born artist who has reportedly been involved in other stunts in the past.
Afterwards, Palazzo Strozzi said on Instagram that “Everything is fine!” and Abramovic had been shocked but uninjured during the attack.