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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 October 2007, 13:58 GMT 14:58 UK
Artwork smoocher tried in France
Cy Twombly art exhibition
The plain canvas (right) was kissed by Ms Sam
A woman who smudged a $2.8m (1.37m) artwork with a lipstick-laden kiss has appeared before a court in France.

Rindy Sam, also an artist, faces a fine of 4,500 euros (3,120) and a class in good citizenship for the charge of voluntarily damaging a work of art.

She told the Avignon court: "I didn't think. When I kissed it I thought the artist would have understood."

Restorers have been unable to remove the lipstick from the white Cy Twombly canvas since it was kissed in July.

'Act of love'

They have unsuccessfully used 30 products to get rid of the stain.

Ms Sam was arrested after the incident at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Avignon, which she called "an act of love".

The painting, which was part of a travelling exhibition, is owned by collector Yvon Lambert, who has sued for damages worth two million euros (1.38m) which includes the value of the painting and restoration costs.

Cambodian-born Frenchwoman Ms Sam, 30, will return to court on 16 November to hear the verdict.

US artist Twombly, who was born in 1928, is known for his abstract paintings combining painting and drawing techniques, repetitive lines and the use of graffiti, letters and words.

He won the Venice Golden Lion award for his work in 2001.

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