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Security destroys €1m painting over ‘boredom’

Security destroys 1 million euro painting because of ‘boredom’

Anna Leporskaya’s work featured three faceless figures who quickly acquired a makeshift pair of eyes.

“My job is to sit there and look at paintings,” Mr. Bean famously said in his 1997 film, in which he was a museum guard. More than twenty years later, an anonymous person in Russia seems to have managed to create a situation even more bizarre than any scene from the film.

It was his first day at the post office. “Three Figures”, a work by Anna Leporskaya painted in the 1930s and worth more than one million euros, was displayed in one of the rooms of the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Center in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg.

Seemingly “annoyed,” the security guard fixed the three faceless human figures and, pen in hand, decided to make some corrections – adding a pair of eyes to two of the faces. The act of vandalism was spotted on December 7 by two visitors who noticed the scrawls that weren’t part of the original.

However, the painting was removed and promptly returned to its original location in Moscow for restoration. Fortunately, the damage doesn’t appear to be irreparable.

“The color penetrated easily into the paint layer because the white titanium used to paint the faces was not covered with varnish, as was common in abstract painting at the time,” explains Art Newspaper. The guard did not apply too much pressure to the pin, which prevented further damage.

The restoration should not be too expensive either, around three thousand euros. Authorities initially decided not to prosecute, but pressure from the government led to an investigation that could result in a prison sentence of up to three years and a large fine.

The security guard, who worked for a private company, was of course fired. “The reasons that prompted him to do so are unknown, but the administration [do centro] believes it was motivated by mental error.”

the destroyed painting


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