Man walks out of Moscow's Tretyakov Gallery with $1m painting

Exhibition of Arkhip Kuindzhi at the Tretyakov

Exhibition of Arkhip Kuindzhi at the Tretyakov

The Russian interior ministry said a 31-year-old man was detained Monday in a village outside Moscow.

"He took it off the wall, walked behind a column and jumped out of the gallery with the painting without its frame", the gallery's director Zelfira Tregulova told a Moscow press conference.

Confused onlookers watched as a young man removed the painting from the gallery wall, only realizing later they had witnessed a brazen theft, Russian television network RT reported.

The work "Ai Petri" has been also found and seized from a project under construction in the Moscow Region's Odintsovo District.

At the same museum past year, a man badly damaged Ilya Repin's "Ivan the bad and His Son Ivan on November 16, 1581" when he attacked the painting with a pole.

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A perpetrator made off with a painting of a mountain by artist Arkhip Kuindzhi, which was on display at the State Tretyakov Gallery in the Russian capital.

People gather outside the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, Russia November 6, 2018. Although the man led police to the painting, he denied stealing it.

Investigators have yet to establish whether the man had an accomplice or not.

Police arrested a 37-year-old who used a metal pole to break the glass covering the picture, damaging the work in three places. The late 19th century Russian artist is known for landscape paintings. It had an insurance equivalent of 185,000 U.S. dollars but some other works by Kuindzhi have fetched more than three million USA dollars at auction.

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