A safety guard who not too long ago vandalized a Nineteen Thirties-era portray throughout his first shift at a museum in Russia has been suspended for what a prime official on the museum referred to as “a stupid mistake.”
In December, the guard on the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Center 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 brief exhibition of avant-garde paintings.
The Yeltsin middle, which is devoted to Russia’s first elected president, didn’t announce the vandalism on the time. But after a report of the incident final month by The Art Newspaper Russia drew worldwide consideration, the middle mentioned in an announcement that “there was an accident.”
In an interview with The New York Times on Tuesday, Alexander Drozdov, the manager 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 personal safety firm and had been working his first shift on the museum.
“He made a stupid mistake,” Mr. Drozdov mentioned.
In an interview this month with E1, a Russian information outlet, Mr. Vasilyev mentioned he had been a “fool” for damaging the portray, which he mentioned he thought was a “children’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 speaking, it was not a huge damage,” Mr. Drozdov mentioned. “It was not dramatic. The guy used his ball pen.” The museum mentioned it anticipated the pen marks could possibly be eliminated with out damaging the portray.
Mr. Drozdov mentioned safety cameras had recorded what he referred to as a “smashing performance” 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 effectively and left.
Visitors seen the injury shortly afterward and reported it to the museum’s employees. The portray was subsequently assessed by a restoration professional 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 endure random injury. In 2018, one in all Russia’s most well-known work, “Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan on November 16, 1581,” by Ilya Repin, was badly broken in a Moscow gallery after a person attacked it with a steel pole. And final yr, a paint-splattered canvas value greater than $400,000 on show at a shopping center in Seoul was vandalized by a pair who thought the work was a participatory mural.