Queen's portrait in Westminster Abbey defaced with paint

LONDON - A portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on display at Westminster Abbey has been defaced with paint.

The abbey says the painting by Ralph Heimans hanging in the building's Chapter House was vandalized at lunchtime on Thursday.

It has been removed from public view until it can be restored.

The portrait by Australia-born artist Heimans was commissioned to mark last year's anniversary of the queen's 60 years on the throne. It was on display until March in Australia's National Portrait Gallery in Canberra.

Last week the monarch attended a ceremony in the abbey to mark the 60th anniversary of her coronation there in June 1953.

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