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Man due in court charged with defacing portrait of Queen Elizabeth II

By Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
June 14, 2013 -- Updated 0850 GMT (1650 HKT)
Momart employees hold a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II before it is moved inside Westminster Abbey on May 17, 2013 in London.
Momart employees hold a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II before it is moved inside Westminster Abbey on May 17, 2013 in London.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A man accused of defacing a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II is due in court
  • Tim Haries has been charged with causing criminal damage over £5,000
  • The portrait, by the Australian-born artist Ralph Heimans, has been taken down
  • It went on display in the abbey last month to mark 60 years since the queen's coronation

London (CNN) -- A man accused of defacing a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II with paint at Westminster Abbey is due in court on Friday, police in London said.

Tim Haries, an electrician from South Yorkshire, has been charged with causing criminal damage over £5,000, Metropolitan Police said.

The 41-year-old suspect was arrested on Thursday soon after the damage to the painting was reported. He will appear before Westminster Magistrates' Court.

The portrait, by the Australian-born artist Ralph Heimans, has been taken down, the abbey said in a statement Thursday.

"Until work can be done to remedy the damage it will -- very regrettably -- not be possible to have the painting on public view," it said.

The portrait went on show in the Chapter House last month as part of the abbey's celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the queen's coronation.

The 9-foot by 11-foot oil painting depicts the queen in state dress, including the crimson velvet robe she wore for her coronation in 1953, in an imagined scene at night in the abbey.

According to the abbey website, it captures the queen "in a moment of solitary reflection."

Last week, the queen and other royals attended a service at the abbey to mark 60 years since her coronation there.

There have been 38 coronations at Westminster Abbey since the coronation of William the Conqueror in 1066.

Westminster Abbey is also where Prince William married Catherine Middleton in 2011.

Gallery: A look at the life of Queen Elizabeth II

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