Washington, D.C., Oct. 17 (Special)-- In an act described as "a direct and outrageous insult" to the President of the United States, a vandal today slashed John Slavin's portrait of President Truman in the Smithsonian institution's national museum.

The oil painting, regarded by many art critics as the finest likeness of the President in existence, was mutilated by a 2 inch gash across the left side of the face and some doubt was expressed as to whether it can be repaired.

Hung among many priceless works in the national collection of fine arts, the portrait was under almost constant surveilance by special guards. The slashing was the first act of vandalism in the history of Washington art galleries.

Shocked museum officials left the mutilated painting on the wall and arranged a conference with Slavin to determine if the portrait can be restored.

Slavin commented: "I think whoever did it performed what amounts to a direct and outrageous insult against the President. I think I would feel better if I were not so sure that the act was directed at Mr. Tnunan rather than myself."

Chicago (Illinois) Tribune, October 18, 1946

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