Art lover fined for kissing painting in France

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MARSEILLE, France, Nov 17 (Reuters) An art lover who kissed a 2-million dollars painting, leaving red lipstick smears on the canvas, was fined by a French court and ordered to carry out 100 hours of community work.

Cambodian-born Rindy Sam told the court yesterday in the southern French city of Avignon that she was ''overcome with passion'' when she saw the painting by US artist Cy Twombly hanging in a gallery and spontaneously kissed the picture.

The picture's owner, Yvon Lambert, demanded 2 million dollars in damages and a further 33,400 euros 48,860 dollars to pay for the restoration.

The court ordered her to pay 1,000 euros in damages to the painting's owner, 500 euros to the gallery owner and a symbolic one euro to the artist.

Sam, in her 30s, said earlier this year she thought her lipstick had improved the painting -- a pure, white canvas.

REUTERS SYU RK0830

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