- A security guard had drawn two pairs of eyes with a ballpoint pen on an iconic painting
- The painting was displayed at the Yeltsin Center in Russian city of Yekaterinburg
- Guard was belong to a private security firm
£740,000 worthy painting has been destroyed after a ‘bored’ security guard drew eyes on faceless figures depicted in the artwork at a gallery. Gallery was located in Yekaterinburg, Russia.
That guard was on his first day on the job, he had drawn two pairs of eyes with a ballpoint pen onto artist Anna Leporskaya’s ‘Three Figures’ (1932–1934) painting during an abstract art exhibition at the Yeltsin Center in the city of Yekaterinburg, western Russia.
The name was not disclosed and apparently 60-years-old man, who worked for a private security company, the Yeltsin Center said in a statement. He is said to have become bored on his first day. He has since been fired.
Two visitors enjoying an art exhibition called ‘The World as Non-Objectivity. The Birth of a New Art’ at the Yeltsin Center spotted the extra details to two of the three figures on the 1930s painting on December 7 last year, reports the Art Newspaper.
How things went so far
The painting was borrowed from the State Tretyakov Gallery in Russian Capital “Moscow”.
The work was returned to the Moscow gallery immediately the next day. It was inspected by an art restorer at the Moscow gallery to estimate the damage.
Local Police are now on an investigation for vandalism, which may come with a £395 (40,000 Russian Rubles) fine and a 1-year correctional labour sentence.
The painting is being restored, the damage, according to the restoration expert at State Tretyakov Gallery, can be eliminated without any long-term effect on the artwork.
The expected cost of restoration has been estimated at £2,470 (RUB 250,000).
It is unclear the true market value of the painting. But it had been insured with the Alfa insurance company for £740,000 (RUB 74.9 million).
Some reports suggest that the company where the security guard worked is paying for the restoration work.
Artist Leporskaya, who was born in 1900 and died aged 82 in 1982, was a student of the renowned, avant-garde Russian artist Kazimir Malevich. She also worked with other avant-garde artists, including Nikolai Suetin and Lev Yudin.
She is known primarily as a master of artistic porcelain. In addition to the Tretyakov Gallery, her works are widely represented in the collection of the Russian Museum.
The Yeltsin Center said in a statement released on Tuesday: ‘We inform you that during the investigation, the person who painted the eyes on the figures in the painting by Anna Leporskaya was identified – this is an employee of a private security organization that carries out security activities of the Yeltsin Center.
‘Recall that on December 7, 2021, during the demonstration of the exhibition ‘The World as Non-Objectiveness. The Birth of a New Art’ in the Art Gallery of the Yeltsin Center suffered a painting by Anna Leporskaya ‘Three Figures’ (1932–1934) from the collection of the State Tretyakov Gallery.
‘The Yeltsin Center refrained from commenting on this situation in hot pursuit, as an internal investigation of the incident and interaction with law enforcement agencies were underway.’