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Notable artworks damaged in attack on Brazilian capital by Bolsonaro supporters

Numerous artworks and listed works of architecture have been destroyed by supporters of far-right Brazilian politician Jair Bolsonaro.

On Sunday (8 January), masses of former president Bolsonaro’s supporters broke through security and stormed the national congress building and other official sites in the capital city of Brasília.

They demanded that newly inaugurated president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva step down or be removed by the military.

A number of valuable works of art were destroyed in the process, including a 1962 painting by Emiliano Di Cavalcanti, ArtReview reports. Photos of the artwork, titled As Mulatas, were shared on Twitter and showed that the canvas had been stabbed a number of times.

A stained glass window created by French-Brazilian artist Marianna Peretti was also smashed.

Among the other works believed to be vandalised were A Justiça, a 1961 sculpture by Alfredo Ceschiatti, while sculptures by Marta Minujín and Frans Krajcberg were also targeted.

O Flautista, a sculpture by Bruno Jorge, was reported to have been completely destroyed.

In addition, the buildings of the complex themselves, which were designed by Oscar Niemeyer and are officially protected, were damaged with water and fire.

Work by the painter Di Cavalcanti was destroyed by radical supporters of Bolsonaro (Getty Images)
Work by the painter Di Cavalcanti was destroyed by radical supporters of Bolsonaro (Getty Images)

Bolsonaro was a vocal critic of publicly funding the arts and closed the Ministry of Culture as soon as he came to power in 2018.

Left-wing president Lula, who was out of the city in São Paulo at the time of the attack, reopened the ministry soon after his inauguration.

Local news had reported last week that the president’s residence was in need of substantial repairs after amassing substantial amounts of damage while Bolsonaro lived there.