Controversial Painting of Beatles' Penises Defaced

"The Beatles in America" was hanging in the Museum of Liverpool and was set to be sold in a charity auction when visitors vandalized it.

An oil painting depicting the Fab Four's private parts that was hanging in the Museum of Liverpool has been defaced by vandals, according to Click Liverpool.

The controversial piece was created by artist Jonathan Gent for Liverpool Love, an auction raising funds for a sick children's charity.

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The still wet paint was "pressed and badly smudged" by museum visitors, according to the report. As originally envisioned, the painting, titled The Beatles in America, featured four penises arranged in square formation, under each of which appeared a Beatle's name.

Gent explained the piece as being "as intimate ... as you can get about The Beatles. ... This idea of suddenly having their penises on a canvas, it was, I guess, about closeness, getting close to this idol in some way," 

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A spokesman for the museum issued this statement on the vandalism:

"The Beatles In America has been damaged by a group of visitors to the Liverpool Love exhibition. The painting has been removed from display so its condition can be assessed by our conservators. The damage is all the more regrettable because along with other works in the exhibition the painting is due to be auctioned to raise funds for children's charity Claire House."

A decision has yet to be made on whether or not the painting will be displayed again or included in the auction.