British police have charged a man with criminal damage after a painting, reportedly by Spanish master Picasso, was attacked at a London gallery over the weekend.
The incident occurred on Saturday at the Tate Modern gallery when Pablo Picasso's 1944 painting Bust of a Woman, was slashed, the BBC said.
It reported the work, worth about £20 million ($A38 million), which depicts Picasso's lover Dora Maar and was painted in Paris in May 1944 during the final months of the Nazi occupation, was reported to have been ripped.
The gallery confirmed an incident had taken place but declined to identify the painting.
#Picasso's 'Bust Of A Woman' (1944) attacked in @Tate
Report from @BBCNews >>> https://t.co/T1QvpwXzV5 pic.twitter.com/2l45mpS92z
— inputforcolor (@inputforcolor) December 31, 2019
It said in a statement: "An incident occurred at Tate Modern on December 28 when a member of the public attempted to damage a painting.
"The person was swiftly apprehended and has been charged. Police are investigating. The work of art is with our conservation team for expert assessment."
London's Metropolitan police said in a statement on Tuesday that detectives investigating an incident of criminal damage at the Tate Modern on December 28 had charged a man.
Shakeel Massey, 20, appeared in court on Monday and was remanded in custody until January 30 when he will attend a pre-trial hearing at Inner London Crown Court.
– with AAP