Jan 24, 2006

The Dada spirit.

PARIS (Reuters) - A Frenchman who attacked and damaged "Fountain," a urinal declared a work of art by Dada pioneer Marcel Duchamp, was ordered Tuesday to pay a fine of 214,000 euros ($262,700).

A Paris court also gave Pierre Pinoncelli, 77, a three-month suspended sentence for taking a hammer to the absurdist artwork, the second time he has attacked it since 1993. The attack last month left the ceramic urinal slightly cracked.

Duchamp was a leader of the Dada movement, an avant garde "anti-art" school of the early 20th century that mocked conventional standards, and "Fountain," made in 1917 -- is considered one of the most influential artworks of its kind.

"This was a wink at Dadaism," Pinoncelli told the court in his defense. "I wanted to pay homage to the Dada spirit."

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