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‘Bored’ Security Guard Who Drew Eyes On A $1 Million Painting Could Face Prison Over Vandalism

‘Bored’ Security Guard Who Drew Eyes On A $1 Million Painting Could Face Prison Over Vandalism

Reveals he didn’t like the art and was egged on to deface it by teen girls.

Alexander Vasiliev has been revealed as the security guard who vandalized a £740k painting that was on display at Yekaterinburg’s Boris Yeltsin Presidential Centre.

The 63 Y.O. used a pen to doodle on the eyes on the blank faces of figures in Anna Leporskaya’s classic work titled the Three Figures (1932-34).

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The guard could face prison after police opened an investigation for vandalism. Speaking with Yekaterinburg Newspaper, Alexander said he had been egged on by schoolgirls visiting the abstract art exhibition.

“I’m a fool for what I’ve done. To be honest, I didn’t like these pictures [ at the exhibition],” Alexander said.

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“They left a difficult impression. I tried to pass by without looking [at them]. I watched how people reacted, and then I saw teenagers, 16 or 17, standing and discussing why there are no eyes, no mouth, and no beauty.

“There were girls in the group, and they asked me, “Drew on the eyes, you work here.”

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Alexander claimed he had believed the paintings were the work of the young people, insisting he asked them, of which they replied “YES.” He continued: “They gave me a pen. I drew the eyes. I thought it was just their children’s drawings. I saw people passing by, smiling.

The guard insisted he didn’t know how much the painting was worth and thought they were young people’s work.

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“If only I knew it wasn’t these kids’ pictures and the painting were brought from Moscow, and they cost so much. What have I done?” After the incident, Alexander was asked to go home soon afterward because his war wounds had begun to hurt. During the Chechen Wars, the senior lieutenant’s body was riddled with bullets and wasn’t expected to survive. He was one of the only 4 out of 36 soldiers in his detachment who survived a ferocious gun battle in 1995.

Luckily the damage isn’t too deep as Alexander did not apply strong enough pressure to the canvas.

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But then the painting has been removed from the exhibition and returned to the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, where it was a loan from. Reportedly, renovations costs have been put at £2,500, and it’s said the company where Alexander worked is paying for the restoration. Earlier reports said the guard has since been fired by the private security firm hired by the gallery. 

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