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£740,000 painting is ruined after ‘bored’ security guard draws eyes on faceless figures on his first day in the job at Russian gallery

The security guard had drawn two pairs of eyes with a ballpoint pen onto artist Anna Leporskaya’s ‘Three Figures’ (1932–1934) painting

Painting was on display at the Yeltsin Center in Russian city of Yekaterinburg

Artwork was defaced by the guard who worked for a private security firm

A painting worth £740,000 has been destroyed after a ‘bored’ security guard drew eyes on faceless figures depicted in the artwork at a Russian gallery.

On his first day on the job, the security guard 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 painting was defaced by a security guard, who has not been named but is believed to be 60-years-old, who worked for a private security company, the Yeltsin Center said in a statement.

ORIGINAL: Artist Anna Leporskaya’s ‘Three Figures’ (1932–1934) painting

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. 

The painting, which was on loan from the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, was damaged by the security guard after he is said to have became bored on his first day. He has since been fired. 

The identity of the suspect has only been revealed now as a security guard by the Yeltsin Centre, although they did not name the worker.   

The work was then sent to the Moscow gallery the next day and was inspected by an art restorer.   

The painting was defaced by a security guard who added two pairs of eyes to the painting

Police have now opened an investigation for vandalism, with comes with a £395 (74.9 million Russian Rubles) dine and a one-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 damage to the artwork.

The damage to the painting and cost of restoration has been estimated at £2,470 (RUB 250,000). 

It is unclear how much the painting is worth, but it was insured with the Alfa insurance company for £740,000 (RUB 74.9 million).

It has been reported that the company where the security guard worked is paying for the restoration.

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 damage to the painting has been estimated at RUB 250,000 (GBP 2,470).

It is unclear how much the painting is worth, but it was insured with the Alfa insurance company for RUB 74.9 million (GBP 740,000).

It has been reported that the company is paying for the restoration. 

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 damage was done with a ballpoint pen.’

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. 

‘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.’  

MaRk AnNor

MaRk AnNor is a content producer and an entrepreneur. He loves to write about trending issues in the world of entertainment. MaRk loves to read, listen to music, and spend quality time with those he loves.You can send an email, markannor14@gmail.com. Please if you want you or your business to be featured on this website, kindly email us today. Thank you!

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