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Famed Delacroix canvas defaced at new Louvre in northern France

France Painting Defac_Leff.jpg

Dec. 4, 2012 - FILE photo shows French Pres. Francois Hollande in front of "Liberty Leading the People," a painting by Eugene Delacroix at the Louvre Museum in Lens, northern France.AP

A visitor to the Louvre's newest extension, in northern France, has been detained after scrawling an inscription in marker on the famed canvas of Eugene Delacroix "Liberty Leading the People."

The 28-year-old woman was immediately seized by a guard and another visitor, then handed over to police, according to a statement from the Louvre-Lens on Friday. It said the painting should be easily cleaned.

The Louvre-Lens opened in December in Lens, a struggling coal town with an unemployment rate nearly three times the national average.

The Delacroix work is among the artist's most famous. It shows a bare-breasted woman (Liberty) holding aloft the French flag as she urges on a crowd of revolutionaries. According to Le Figaro newspaper, the woman wrote "AE911" near the bottom of the canvas.