Sunday, February 03, 2019


A Man Walked Into a Moscow Museum, and Walked Out With a $182,000 Painting. A man wearing a black V-neck sweater walked up to a moody painting of a mountain range on display at the renowned Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. He leaned forward as if to admire the artist’s brushwork. Then he reached up, lifted the painting off the wall, and sauntered out of the exhibition, swinging the painting from his right hand.

The work, titled “Ai Petri, Crimea” and painted by Arkhip Kuindzhi in 1908, had been insured for $182,000, according to a spokeswoman for the museum. The painting, which was on loan from the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg, was not lost for long. On Monday, a day after it was taken, police recovered it undamaged in a construction site outside Moscow and arrested a 31-year-old man, according to the Russian news agency TASS.

But the brazen theft will still embarrass the Tretyakov, the museum with the most important collection of Russian art in Moscow, especially as it comes less than a year after another man attacked a revered Russian painting with a pole — piercing it in three places — after drinking vodka in the gallery’s cafe.

The episode is the latest in a string of bold art thefts across Europe. Last weekend, thieves stole a door from the Bataclan concert hall in Paris that featured a mural attributed to the British street artist Banksy and thought to be a tribute to the victims of the 2015 terrorist attack at the venue. In November, three men walked into the Dorotheum auction house in Vienna, cut a landscape painting by Renoir from its frame, and walked out. A 59-year-old Ukrainian man with a history of art theft was arrested in December over the crime, but the artwork has yet to be recovered, according to Harald Sörös, a spokesman for the Vienna police.

With his closely cropped haircut and black clothes, the thief appeared to many visitors to be a hip young member of the museum staff, Russian news reports said, although one visitor eventually raised the alarm. .


Post a Comment

<< Home