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Russia: ‘Bored’ Security Guard Ruins Million-Dollar Painting by Drawing on It

In a gallery in West Russia, a security guard drew eyes on a million-dollar painting because he was "bored".

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A Russian art gallery's security guard recently made headlines after drawing eyes on a faceless figure because he was 'bored' during his duty.

The incident took place at the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Center in Yekaterinburg, located in west-central Russia. The security guard allegedly used a ballpoint pen and drew eyes on faceless figures of the painting.

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The painting is called ‘Three Figures’ and it was displayed in the gallery as one of the pieces in the exhibition called ‘The World as Non-Objectivity’. The artwork was insured for 74.9 million Rubles which is worth roughly 1 million dollars. It was created by Anna Leporskaya, a student of Russian avant-garde artist Kazimir Malevich, between 1932 and 1934.

The painting was vandalized on 7 December 2021. The guard had kept his job until this week, when his identity was revealed to the public. Two visitors saw the extra details and reported it. The gallery released a statement saying that the damage was done by a ballpoint pen and did not disclose the name of the vandal. The Center added: "The work was inspected by the restorer of the State Tretyakov Gallery the very next day and sent to Moscow. The painting is being restored, the damage, according to the expert, can be eliminated without consequences for the work of art.

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In a statement to The Guardian, the exhibition’s curator Anna Reshetkina said, “His (the security guard's) motives are still unknown but the administration believes it was some kind of a lapse in sanity.” The painting is being restored without any long term damage at the cost of 2,20,000 (Rs 2.5 lakh). The guard has had to pay a fine of 40,000 Rubles (Rs 40,000) and one year labour sentence.

(With inputs from The Guardian).

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Topics:  Russia   Security   Painting 

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