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A famous 183-year-old French painting of a flag-bearing woman leading fighters across the bodies of the fallen has been defaced by a museum-goer with a black marker at a recently launched adjunct to the Louvre museum in northern France.

19th century French artist Eugene Delacroix’s iconic painting Liberty Leading the People pays homage to the French Revolution of 1830 (sometimes referred to as the “July Revolution”) in which Charles X was deposed and replaced by his cousin Louis-Philippe. Among other things, it’s thought to have inspired a street urchin in Victor Hugo’s novel Les Misérables, and it’s appeared on a variety of objects ranging from Irish postage stamps and France’s 100-franc note to the cover of one of British rock band Coldplay’s albums.

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But last Thursday, an unnamed 28-year-old woman walked into the Louvre-Lens — a recently opened…

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