Last Saturday a man added his own original artwork to the walls of the National Gallery's portrait collection. He placed his 'Portait of Brian Cowen' on the wall next to a work depicting Maeve Binchy. It hung for forty minutes, before being removed.
Portrait of Biran Cowen, 2009, anonymours
The management proceeded to contact the Gardai. The officers photographed it, and it was subsequently consigned to temporary storage. The CCTV still frames of the man are currently displayed in both cloakrooms, as one would pin up images of dangerous criminals.
Accounts suggest that the wooden frame was expensive. The quality of the painting itself is high, and indicates that the painter is a full-time artist, and probably a trained one too.
Being a conservative institution, it is beyond the scope of this organisation to promote anti-establishment art. However this piece represents a step forward in the development of Irish art. By all rights, the work must be handed over to a commercial gallery, or to a private dealer before it is lost to history.