Wednesday, 18 September, 2019

Russian Art Heist Ends in Recovery and Arrest

World's most casual heist? Moscow artnapper caught on camera Heist of the year: Moment $182k painting stolen in front of dozens of visitors caught on CCTV
Lora Ball | 31 January, 2019, 01:47

CCTV footage released by police shows a young man calmly walking up to the painting at Moscow's Tretyakov Gallery on Sunday before stopping to take a look and then taking it off the wall with other visitors looking on. The theft came just months after a man damaged a 19th century painting at the museum, sparking fears that security at the facility should be improved.

"Ai-Petri. Crimea", a 1908 mountain landscape by Arkhip Kuindzhi, is valued at $185,000, according to The Associated Press.

It was recovered on a nearby building site undamaged after the suspect admitted where he had hidden it, the police said, although the 31-year-old denied stealing it. Previously, he was detained for drug possession and is involved in the relevant criminal case.

In order to step up security measures quickly, the Gallery plans to seek sponsors' aid. A large-scale exhibition featuring paintings by famous Russian painter Ilya Repin will open at the Tretyakov Gallery in mid-March.

Both crimes raise questions about security at Russian museums, many of which have complained of security shortages since budget cutbacks in 2015.

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The head of the ministry's museum department Vladislav Kononov told reporters Monday that all of the Tretyakov gallery's paintings will soon be equipped with electronic security sensors.

He referred to an incident last May when a man slashed a painting by Ilya Repin depicting Tsar Ivan the bad after he killed his son.

It praised authorities for recovering the painting.

An art thief stole a painting worth over 700,000 Euro from a gallery in Moscow, Russia last Sunday.

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