May 26, 2022
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A safety guard who lately vandalized a Nineteen Thirties-era portray throughout his first shift at a museum in Russia has been suspended for what a high official on the museum known as “a silly mistake.”

In December, the guard on the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Middle in Yekaterinburg, Russia, used a ballpoint pen to draw eyes on two of the faceless topics of “Three Figures,” which the artist Anna Leporskaya painted from 1932 to 1934. The portray, which was on mortgage to the middle from a museum in Moscow, was a part of a temporary exhibition of avant-garde paintings.

The Yeltsin middle, which is dedicated to Russia’s first elected president, didn’t announce the vandalism on the time. However after a report of the incident final month by The Art Newspaper Russia drew worldwide consideration, the middle mentioned in a statement that “there was an accident.”

In an interview with The New York Instances on Tuesday, Alexander Drozdov, the chief director of the middle, recognized the guard as Alexander Vasilyev and mentioned he had been suspended throughout a police investigation of the vandalism. The guard is employed by a non-public safety firm and had been working his first shift on the museum.

“He made a silly mistake,” Mr. Drozdov mentioned.

In an interview this month with E1, a Russian information outlet, Mr. Vasilyev mentioned he had been a “idiot” for damaging the portray, which he mentioned he thought was a “kids’s drawing.” He additionally mentioned teenage guests on the museum had requested him to draw on the portray.

Mr. Drozdov mentioned that “Three Figures” had been valued at about 75 million rubles ($974,000) and that the injury, which was lined by insurance coverage, would value about 250,000 rubles ($3,300) to repair.

“To be bluntly talking, it was not an enormous injury,” Mr. Drozdov mentioned. “It was not dramatic. The man used his ball pen.” The museum mentioned it anticipated the pen marks may very well be eliminated with out damaging the portray.

Mr. Drozdov mentioned safety cameras had recorded what he known as a “smashing efficiency” by Mr. Vasilyev, who used a memento pen from the middle to draw on the portray. He then advised others that he didn’t really feel properly and left.

Guests seen the injury shortly afterward and reported it to the museum’s employees. The portray was subsequently assessed by a restoration skilled and returned to its house on the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.

The museum has since put in protecting screens over its work, and Mr. Drozdov mentioned it was working with the safety firm to enhance its hiring course of.

“Three Figures” is the most recent piece of paintings to undergo random injury. In 2018, one among Russia’s most well-known work, “Ivan the Horrible and His Son Ivan on November 16, 1581,” by Ilya Repin, was badly damaged in a Moscow gallery after a person attacked it with a steel pole. And final 12 months, a paint-splattered canvas price greater than $400,000 on show at a shopping center in Seoul was vandalized by a couple who thought the work was a participatory mural.

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