Museum Security Guard Adds Eyes to Painting’s Faceless Figures

Museum Security Guard Adds Eyes to Painting’s Faceless Figures

A protection guard who not long ago vandalized a 1930s-period painting throughout his initial change at a museum in Russia has been suspended for what a best formal at the museum termed “a stupid miscalculation.”

In December, the guard at the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Centre in Yekaterinburg, Russia, utilized 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 loan to the middle from a museum in Moscow, was component of a short-term exhibition of avant-garde artwork.

The Yeltsin middle, which is committed to Russia’s initial elected president, did not announce the vandalism at the time. But soon after a report of the incident last month by The Artwork Newspaper Russia drew intercontinental notice, the center said in a assertion that “there was an incident.”

In an interview with The New York Instances on Tuesday, Alexander Drozdov, the govt director of the middle, discovered the guard as Alexander Vasilyev and mentioned he had been suspended during a law enforcement investigation of the vandalism. The guard is utilized by a private security organization and had been operating his first shift at the museum.

“He made a stupid oversight,” Mr. Drozdov claimed.

In an interview this thirty day period with E1, a Russian information outlet, Mr. Vasilyev explained he experienced been a “fool” for harmful the portray, which he said he thought was a “children’s drawing.” He also said teenage readers at the museum experienced asked him to draw on the portray.

Mr. Drozdov stated that “Three Figures” had been valued at about 75 million rubles ($974,000) and that the damage, which was included by insurance policies, would price about 250,000 rubles ($3,300) to take care of.

“To be bluntly talking, it was not a substantial destruction,” Mr. Drozdov explained. “It was not remarkable. The dude applied his ball pen.” The museum explained it anticipated the pen marks could be taken out without having harmful the portray.

Mr. Drozdov said security cameras experienced recorded what he named a “smashing performance” by Mr. Vasilyev, who used a memento pen from the middle to draw on the portray. He then advised other folks that he didn’t feel well and remaining.

Readers recognized the hurt shortly afterward and documented it to the museum’s workers. The portray was subsequently assessed by a restoration qualified and returned to its house at the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.

The museum has since mounted protecting screens in excess of its paintings, and Mr. Drozdov mentioned it was doing work with the security enterprise to enhance its employing procedure.

“Three Figures” is the most recent piece of artwork to put up with random problems. In 2018, a single of Russia’s most well-known paintings, “Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan on November 16, 1581,” by Ilya Repin, was poorly destroyed in a Moscow gallery immediately after a male attacked it with a metallic pole. And last yr, a paint-splattered canvas truly worth much more than $400,000 on show at a searching shopping mall in Seoul was vandalized by a few who thought the perform was a participatory mural.