On 14 September 1975, an unemployed schoolteacher named Wilhelmus de Rijk walked into Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum and headed straight for Rembrandt’s The Night Watch. He stood in front of the painting, looking creepy, until the guards asked him to leave. At which point De Rijk walked out of the room, walked back in, and attacked the painting with a bread knife that he had stolen from his hotel’s room service. De Rijk managed to hold the museum guards off long enough to slash the painting more than twelve times. The guards finally wrestled De Rijk to the ground.
After a four-year restoration process, the painting went back up, this time under permanent guard. Which was lucky, because in 1990 another attacker sprayed acid on the painting, but the guards were able to douse the painting with water quickly enough to avoid permanent damage.
|Damage to the painting|
|Restoration by I. Kuyper|
The masterpiece was finished by Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn in 1642 and is officially titled “The Company of Frans Banning Cocq and Willem van Ruytenburch”.