Gauguin Painting Attacker Aided Lee Hamilton, Jane Harman

Susan Burns is charged with trying to destroy a painting.


The accused attacker of an $80 million Paul Gauguin painting of two topless Tahitian women was a top assistant at the congressionally-created Wilson Center and aide to former Center President Lee Hamilton. Susan Burns also recently worked with Hamilton's replacement former Rep. Jane Harman, according to insiders.

Burns is charged with trying to destroy the painting "Two Tahitian Women" hung at the National Gallery of Art in Washington. A week ago, she slammed the painting which was covered with a layer of thick plastic and sustained no damage. According to charging documents, she complained that it depicted lesbians.

In the police report, the 54-year-old former Wilson Center assistant to the president is quoted saying, "I feel that Gaugin is evil. He has nudity and is bad for the children. He has two women in the painting and it's very homosexual. I was trying to remove it. I think it should be burned. I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you."

Spokeswoman Sharon McCarter wouldn't comment much on Burns. She tells Washington Whispers: "The Woodrow Wilson Center is deeply saddened by the Susan Burns incident. She is currently not at the center, and we have not been in touch with her. The Wilson Center cannot respond further due to privacy issues regarding personnel." The center has also scrubbed Burns' name and E-mail from their website.

The Smoking Gun website reports that Burns has a lengthy rap sheet. They've also posted a past mug shot of her.

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