'Bored' Security Guard Ruins $1 Million Painting On His First Day

Daniel Mitchell-Benoit
Anna Leporskaya's 'Three Figures' (1932–1934) with the back two figures vandalized.
The Art Newspaper Russia | Yeltsin Center

Art galleries aren't everyone's thing. I have friends who are art-lovers, who could walk around exhibitions for ages, and I have friends who would rather do literally anything else. No matter your opinion on art, though, it's still known practice to not mess with any that you see, no matter how much you love or hate it.

That was not the opinion held by a security guard at a Russian gallery, who tampered with a painting simply out of boredom.

A pricy avant-garde painting was vandalized in December of last year.

Anna Leporskaya's 'Three Figures' (1932–1934) before it was vandalized, on a gallery wall.
The Art Newspaper Russia | Yeltsin Center

Anna Leporskaya's 'Three Figures' (1932–1934) was on display at the Yeltsin Center in the city of Yekaterinburg, Russia, as part of an abstract exhibit called 'The World as Non-Objectivity. The Birth of a New Art'.

That was until two visitors noticed something strange one day.

Anna Leporskaya's 'Three Figures' (1932–1934) with the back two figures vandalized.
The Art Newspaper Russia | Yeltsin Center

When they arrived at 'Three Figures', they spotted something amiss with the painting.

Someone had added eyes to the back two figures. The guests notified staff immediately, who swiftly took the painting down and returned it to State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, where it had been on loan from for the exhibit, to begin an investigation into the vandalism.

The details regarding what happened were only just released.

A security guard against a glass wall.
Unsplash | Flex Point Security

The painting was said to be defaced by a security guard. Though he has not been named, he's believed to have been about 60 years old, worked for a private security company, and drew the eyes on the painting because he was 'bored' during his first day.

He has since been fired.

Being fired might be the least of his troubles soon.

Multiple $100 bills.
Unsplash | Pepi Stojanovski

The painting he defaced has quite the price tag on it. Though its exact worth is unknown, it's insured for ₽74.9 million, which comes out to just over $1 million.

The vandalism investigation continues. Should he be found guilty, the ex-security guard could face a fine of approximately $534 and a one-year correctional labor sentence.

What about the painting?

An art restorer on some scaffolding.
Unsplash | Maxim Kotov

In a statement, the Yeltsin Center said, "The painting is being restored, the damage, according to the expert, can be eliminated without consequences for the work of art."

The restoration is going to cost an estimated $3335, a cost the security company the vandal worked for will reportedly be covering.

h/t: Daily Mail