Paintings of World War II figures vandalized at gallery

Tuesday, April 17th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ Paintings depicting nude versions of Hitler and other World War II figures were found slashed to pieces in an art gallery, Tulsa police said.

A bar employee who was leaving for home about 4:45 a.m. Sunday noticed the smashed glass doors on the Tulsa Artists Coalition Alternative Gallery, and called police.

Three large acrylic paintings that were on display, each priced at $750, were slashed and chopped.

The loss to the gallery's French doors, walls and display partitions is estimated at $1,400.

The exhibit, titled ``And We All Fall Down'' by local artist Kevin Hale, opened April 6 after the works had been approved by a TAC committee.

``I guess I was wanting a reaction,'' the artist said. ``I didn't expect it to be so extreme.''

In addition to Hitler, Italy's Premier Benito Mussolini and Japanese Emperor Michinomiya Hirohito were also portrayed in the paintings.

Hale, an art student at the University of Tulsa, said Monday that he was not bothered by the attack on his art.