updated 4/6/2007 9:50:21 PM ET 2007-04-07T01:50:21

A man caught kicking a 17th century painting at the Milwaukee Art Museum persisted even after a museum designer tried to pull him away, eventually putting a hole in the work that is insured for $300,000, prosecutors say.

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Timothy L. Kubena, 21, charged Friday with felony damage to property, told police he made a mistake but was disturbed by "the painting showing one man carrying another man's head," the criminal complaint said.

Ottavio Vannini's 1620 painting "The Triumph of David" depicts the end of the biblical tale of David and Goliath, with David carrying the severed head of the giant Goliath.

According to the complaint, the designer was alerted to a problem when he heard a "smashing sound" in the next room at the museum, and when he got there, he saw Kubena kicking the painting and tried to pull him away. When he tugged at Kubena's sweater, Kubena took it off and kept kicking.

Kubena kicked the painting about six times until there was a hole in the bottom right corner, the complaint said. That would be the area where the giant's head is shown.

‘I’m done’
Then Kubena said, "I'm done," removed his shoes and laid down, according to the complaint.

The charge carries up to 3 1/2 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

The painting was hanging in the museum's Early European Gallery when the incident happened Wednesday afternoon. It has been on loan since December from the Haukohl Family Collection, considered the largest collection of 17th-century Florentine art in America.

The work is owned by Mark Fehrs Haukohl, a Milwaukee native and art collector who lives in Houston.

Museum director and CEO David Gordon said earlier that the damage is believed to be repairable, and that the museum's insurance company would cover repair costs.

The complaint filed in Circuit Court said repairs "will cost a considerable sum of money ... (and) will not restore it to its original condition or value."

Kubena, of Pewaukee, told authorities he would "pay for it over time." His Myspace.com page said he works as a security guard.

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