Security Guard in Russia Gets Bored, Draws Eyes on Expensive Art

Security Guard in Russia Gets Bored, Draws Eyes on Expensive Art
Three Figures, plus 'edits'. Image: Yeltsin Center

Oh my god.

A ‘bored’ security guard working in an art gallery in Russia committed a Mr Bean-like crime on his first day – drawing eyes on a super valuable piece of art.

The security guard, understood to be about 60 years old, had been working in the Yeltsin Center art gallery in Russia for merely hours.

According to The Moscow Times, visitors discovered two pairs of eyes drawn onto Anna Leporskaya’s Three Figures (1932-34) with a ballpoint pen. Three Figures is in residency at the Yeltsin Center in the city of Yekaterinburg, on loan from the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.

Two visitors spotted the extra details (drawn on with a Yeltsin Center-branded pen) on December 7 and the Yeltsin Center turned to law enforcement two weeks later, on December 20.

The Yeltsin Center told the Znak.com news website that police deemed the damage caused to the artwork “insignificant”.

Three Figures, mind you, is worth six figures – with the Guardian reporting the artwork (pre-edits) is valued at around $1.3 million.

“His motives are still unknown but the administration believes it was some kind of a lapse in sanity,” said exhibition curator Anna Reshetkina.

Local publication Art Newspaper, the ones who broke this news, reported the ink has slightly penetrated into the paint layer, “since the titanium white used to paint the faces is not covered with author’s varnish, as is often the case in abstract painting of that time”. Translation thanks to The Guardian.

The Yeltsin Center has since installed protective screens over the remaining works in the exhibition. It has been estimated that the restoration will cost around $4,600.