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A ‘bored’ security guard drew eyes on faceless figures – and $1 million painting was ruined!

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On his first day at work, a ‘bored’ security officer decided to bring attention to a great modern art painting valued at $1 million (£740,000).

He was fired because he desired to do anything other than protect the gallery’s artworks from destruction.

The ‘Three Figures’ painting by Anna Leporskaya was defaced on December 7, 2021, at the Yeltsin Centre in Yekaterinburg, Sverdlovsk Oblast, west-central Russia.

Leporskaya is primarily known for her gorgeous porcelain. She died in 1982. In addition to the Tretyakov Gallery, her paintings are well represented in the Russian Museum’s collection.

When the picture was destroyed, it was on display at the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Center in Yekaterinburg, west-central Russia. The additional embellishments on the sculptures were observed by two exhibition visitors, who contacted a gallery employee.

The ‘bored’ 60-year-old security officer allegedly placed eyeballs on the faces of two of the three individuals in the picture with a ballpoint pen during an exhibition named ‘The World as Non-Objectivity,”The Birth of a New Art.’

In a statement, the Yeltsin Centre said that an employee of a private security firm “who painted the eyes on the figures” had been identified, but did not give his name. The art center stated, “The damage was done with a ballpoint pen.”

Leporskaya, a student of Kazimir Malevich, is having their painting “Three Figures” (1932-1934) restored by professionals in the aim of bringing it back to its former glory.

Credits: Newsflash

According to an article in The Art Newspaper Russia, which broke the news, the ink had slightly punctured the paint layer since the titanium white used to paint the faces was not sealed with author’s varnish, as was typical in abstract paintings at the time. Fortunately, he drew using a pen that did not use excessive pressure, preserving the general relief of the strokes.

“His (the security guard’s) motives are still unknown,” the exhibition’s curator, Anna Reshetkina, told the Guardian, “but the administration believes it was some kind of lapse in sanity.”

The painting’s damage has been estimated at RUB 250,000 (GBP 2,470), with the corporation, according to sources, covering the bill for restoration.

“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.”  the Yeltsin Center stated in a statement.

“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.”

Experts believe the painting can be restored to its former condition without incurring long-term damage, and they are working on it now. It is estimated that the renovation will cost roughly 2,50,000 Russian Rubles (around 2.5 lakhs).

“The work was inspected by the restorer of the State Tretyakov Gallery the very next day and sent to Moscow.” the Center added. ”The painting is being restored, the damage, according to the expert, can be eliminated without consequences for the work of art.”

A destruction charge against the security guard entails a fine of 40,000 Russian Rubles (about $40,000) and a one-year prison sentence. Last Thursday, the police revealed that they had started an investigation.

Featured Image Credits: East2West

Source: 1, 2, 3, 4

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