Johannesburg — The German art collector who bought the painting of President Jacob Zuma with his genitals exposed will not restore the work and will collect it in person, it was reported on Saturday.
The Spear, by Brett Murray, was on exhibition in the Goodman Gallery in Rosebank when it was defaced by two men on Tuesday. It was the subject of a court battle this week when the ANC applied to have it taken off exhibition and an image of it removed from the City Press newspaper's website.
The Saturday Citizen reported that Goodman Gallery director, Liza Essers, had spoken to the painting's owner who said he wanted the work "as is".
The collector bought the painting, valued at R136,000, in early May.
Painting specialist Phillippa Duncan told the newspaper that it was wise to leave the work in its vandalised state.
In future its value would probably increase given the political scandal and publicity surrounding it, she said.
"Time is going to tell and it would be interesting to see if the owner will leave or restore it," Duncan was quoted as saying.
The Spear is an acrylic on canvas.
Painting conservator Teresa Wimberly said restoration depended on the quality of the surface.
It would have been easier to restore had the painting been varnished, she told the Saturday Citizen.