Russian Museum Closed After Seizure of Satirical Paintings

ST. PETERSBURG, August 28 (RIA Novosti) – The provocative “Museum of Authority” in St. Petersburg was closed shortly after Tuesday’s confiscation of four satirical portraits, including a painting of Russia’s president and premier clad in women’s underwear, police said.

“The museum’s building was sealed during yesterday’s inspection because police officers were unable to obtain documentation about the building and the property it contains,” the regional police department said.

The museum’s owner Alexander Donskoy confirmed the information, adding that “no one is going to let us open the museum so far.”

Police inspected the building on Monday evening after being informed that it contains exhibits that might violate the existing Russian laws. The police did not say which laws may have been broken, although Russia does have a law against “insulting representatives of authority.” Four paintings were confiscated to be examined by experts.

The seized oil on canvas portrait by painter Konstantin Altunin depicts President Vladimir Putin in a pink-white nightgown touching the hair of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, clad in nothing but a push-up bra and panties. The portrait was displayed at the museum’s “Rulers” exhibition that opened in Russia’s second-largest city less than two weeks ago.

Police confiscated the canvas along with a portrait of local lawmaker Vitaly Milonov titled “Rainbow Milonov,” a painting named “Erotic Dreams of Lawmaker [Yelena] Mizulina” and a portrait of Moscow Patriarch Kirill wearing prison tattoos with skulls and profiles of Soviet leaders Vladimir Lenin and Josef Stalin.


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