... An Osgoode Hall painting that had just been restored after a 1991 vandalism attack has been damaged again--by a guard who tumbled into it while rushing to a cigarette break. The painting of Sir John Hawkins Hagarty, chief justice of Ontario from 1884 to 1897, had been painstakingly restored after it was pummelled by a manic-depressive who was venting his anger at the legal system.

The man hurled a steel ashtray at the portrait--and when it bounced back and hit him on the head, he ripped the canvas from Sir John to his shins.

The man went on to splash acid on six other portraits. He was sentenced to three months in jail.
Last Friday, the painting was just moments from being reattached to the Osgoode Hall walls, when a commissionaire--charging toward a cigarette break--fell into the artwork.
Smoking is prohibited in the halls of the courthouse. "We're just two minutes short of hanging it up," said Srebrenka Bogovic, chief conservator of In Restauro Conservart Inc., who restored the painting.

Now, Sir John has a gash across his throat and down his left side, through his heart and stopping around his pocket-watch chain.

Luckily only the commissionaire's pride appeared to be hurt in the fall. "I have no comment on it," he said yesterday, drawing heavily on a cigarette.

Some $50,000 was spent on the repairs to the works damaged in the February, 1991, attack. Sir John was the final painting restored. No estimate has been made for the latest repairs.

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