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Bored Russian Museum Guard Drew Eyes onto $1.4M Painting on First Day

February 17, 2022 6:21 AM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

Reposted from the New York Post

Face it — he’s no Picasso.

A bored security guard in Russia damaged a prized $1.4 million painting of blank faces by doodling eyes onto them at a museum, according to reps from the art house.

The 60-year-old guard allegedly drew the peepers on Anna Leporskaya’s avant-garde artwork, “Three Figures” with a pen during his first day of work at the Yeltsin Centre gallery in Yekaterinburg, a museum spokeswoman told The Guardian Wednesday.

“His motives are still unknown but the administration believes it was some kind of a lapse in sanity,” said the exhibit’s curator Anna Reshetkina, adding that he used a ballpoint “Yeltsin Center-branded pen.”

The security guard, who was not identified, was fired and charged with vandalism last week, The Age newspaper reported.

It’s now expected to cost $4,600 to restore the 1930s painting, which had been on loan from the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.

“The ink has slightly penetrated into the paint layer, since the titanium white used to paint the faces is not covered with author’s varnish, as is often the case in abstract painting of that time,” Ivan Petrov wrote in Russia’s Art Newspaper, which was first to report the story.

“Fortunately, the vandal drew with a pen without strong pressure, and therefore the relief of the strokes as a whole was not disturbed. The left figure also had a small crumble of the paint layer up to the underlying layer on the face.”

Gallery-goers first noticed the faceless defacing in December but the city’s ministry of internal affairs initially deemed the damage “insignificant” and declined to press charges, according to The Guardian.

But the country’s ministry of culture later complained to the prosecutor general’s office, and cops last week announced they’d launched an investigation.

If found guilty, the guard could be sentenced to up to three months in jail.

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