Russian art gallery to review alcohol sales after attack
MOSCOW - Reuters
The incident at Moscow's State Tretyakov Gallery on May 25 caused serious damage to one of the country's most famous paintings, which depicts Tsar Ivan the Terrible cradling his dying son in 1581, and raised awkward questions about how Russia protects its historical and cultural artefacts.
In an interior ministry video, a 37-year-old man called Igor Podporin described how he had knocked back 100 grams of vodka in the gallery's cafe, became "overwhelmed", and then used a metal security pole to strike the canvas several times.
"The incident was awful and frightening and speaks to the aggression which reigns in society," said Tregulova, complaining that people were increasingly unable to distinguish between works of art and the documentation of historical facts.
[HH] Historical grudge?
Vladimir Aristarkhov, the deputy culture minister, said that jail time for such attacks should be sharply increased from a current three-year maximum, disclosed Russia's museums had a shortfall of around 1,000 security guards, and called for the attacker to be made an example of.
The Tretyakov's curator, Tatyana Gorodkova, told reporters that Podporin had shouted something at the time of his attack to the effect that Ivan the Terrible did not kill his son. The painting depicts Ivan cradling his son after dealing him a mortal blow.
The painting, which will be protected by a bulletproof case after being restored, has never been valued because it has never been lent out, but another work by Repin was sold for over $7 million in 2011.