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Pablo Picasso Painting Vandalized at Houston Museum

Joseph Devenney/Getty Images(HOUSTON) -- Police are using security and cellphone video to locate a man who vandalized Pablo Picasso’s famous painting, “Woman in a Red Armchair,” at a museum in Houston.

A fellow museum patron’s cellphone camera caught the moment when a man at Houston’s Menil Collection, which hosts nine Picassos, vandalized the 1929 painting.  The painting was doused with gold spray paint in the image of a bull and the word “conquista,” according to police, who said the vandal then fled.

Museum officials say the crime occurred last week.

The museum staff houses a conservation lab on site and workers are racing to clean the painting.  Museum spokesman Vance Muse told the Houston Chronicle that “repair work began immediately” and that the painting “has an excellent prognosis.”

The museum was unable to estimate the painting’s worth, but similar Picassos have sold for tens of millions of dollars.  No arrests have been made.

Anyone who witnessed the attack or has information is asked to call (713) 308-0900.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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