365 Days of Art: June 13 – Rubens Painting Destroyed by Arson

Peter Paul Rubens, King Philip IV of Spain

June 13, 1985

A man is arrested for setting fire to and destroying a painting of King Philip IV of Spain by Peter Paul Rubens hanging in the Zurich Kunsthaus. Sadly, only the frame survives the arson.

When a guard notices smoke, all exits are closed and an inspection of all visitors is begun. The man is arrested and says his reason for destroying this priceless work was to protest environmental pollution.

As if! Everyone knows burning stuff is bad for air quality.