Russian Security Guard Fired After Drawing Eyes on Million-Dollar Painting Because He was 'Bored'

A painting depicting three faceless figures that is valued at roughly $1 million was defaced when a security guard allegedly drew eyes on two of the figures.

Officials at the Yeltsin Center in Yekaterinburg in central Russia announced Monday they believe the perpetrator was a private security guard who, during his first day on the job, drew eyes on the faceless figures using a ballpoint pen, as reported by The Moscow Times. According to the Daily Mail, the guard drew the eyes as a result of boredom.

Two visitors attending an art exhibition titled "The World as Non-Objectivity: The Birth of a New Art" noticed the additional details to two of the three figures in the painting in December last year.

Guard Fired, Under Investigation for Vandalism

The Three Figures
The "Three Figures" painting vandalized by the security guard at the Yeltsin Center in Yekaterinburg, Russia. Twitter

"We inform you that during the investigation, the person who painted the eyes on the figures in the painting by Anna Leporskaya was identified — this is an employee of a private security organization that carries out security activities of the Yeltsin Center," the museum said in a statement to the Daily Mail.

The guard, believed to be 60-years-old, has since been fired and is under investigation for vandalism, which carries a $535 fine and a one-year correctional labour sentence.

Painting Insured for $1M, Sent for Restoration

The Three Figures
The original "Three Figures" painting by Anna Leporskaya. Twitter

The Three Figures painting, which Leporskaya worked on between 1932 and 1934, has been sent back to Moscow for restoration. The painting is insured for nearly $1 million and was taken on loan from the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. Although the pen's ink penetrated the paint layer, the damage was not irreversible.

The damage will be remedied with a restoration expected to cost over $3,000. It has been reported that the company where the security guard worked is paying for the restoration. The Yeltsin Center, which returned the painting to the Tretyakov Gallery soon after the damage was discovered, said it installed protective screens over the remaining works in the exhibition after the incident.

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