Constable's The Hay Wain Attacked: Man Charged

A man has been charged with criminal damage after John Constable's masterpiece The Hay Wain was attacked by a protester at London's National Gallery.

Paul Douglas Manning, 57, was arrested on Friday at the gallery after somebody glued a four-inch photograph of a young boy to The Hay Wain.

Manning, of Kirkstone Road, Sheffield, has since been charged by the Metropolitan Police and was remanded on bail after appearing at Westminster Magistrates Court. He will next appear at Southwark Crown Court on July 12.

No lasting damage was done to the 1821 painting in room 34, a gallery spokeswoman said.

"Conservation staff were on the scene very rapidly and the painting was removed for treatment," she said.

"No damage to Constable's original paint occurred and there is no lasting damage to the painting."

The incident happened as Fathers4Justice said it was abandoning its five-year "attempted engagement with the political establishment" and called on fathers to take "independent weekly direct action" in the spirit of the Suffragettes 100 years ago.

The Hay Wain is one of the country's most recognisable works of art.

It shows an idyllic rural scene with a cart - the eponymous hay wain - in the river Stour in Suffolk.

The National Gallery spokeswoman said it would investigate the security breach, but praised "the prompt action and quick thinking" of staff who intervened.