Perhaps it's time someone did a welfare check on the fine art world. From the banana ducted tape to a wall to the whole squabble over who made the first invisible sculpture, the industry seems to be losing its grip as of late (and that's not even getting into the whole headache and a half that is NFTs).
Now, a freshly hired security guard is in hot water after vandalizing a painting on his very first day... just because he was bored.
The Boris Yeltsin Presidential Center in Yekaterinburg, Russia was surprised to learn that Anna Leporskya's painting Three Figures, which is valued at $1 million and considered a part of the country's cultural heritage, was discovered to have two pairs of rudimentary eyes drawn in ballpoint pen.
The arts center handed in a statement to the local authorities a couple weeks after museum visitors alerted the staff that the painting had been defaced.
According to The Art Newspaper Russia, the painting did sustain some damage: "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. Fortunately, the vandal drew with a pen without strong pressure, and therefore the relief of the strokes as a whole was not disturbed."
Luckily for the security guard, the cost to fully restore the painting isn't that bad, averaging out to be a little below $3K. And while the security guard will almost definitely end up being the one to foot the bill, he also may face up to three months in prison if the local police go through with pressing criminal charges.
As for the painting, it is currently being transported back to the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow so it can be restored. In the meantime, the Yeltsin Center has put protective screens over all their paintings as an added precaution.
Photo via Getty