Theft of Kuindzhi’s paintings from the Tretyakov Gallery – what is known about it

Continuation: A suspect in the theft of Kuinji’s paintings from the Tretyakov Gallery was detained in less than a day .

“Ai-Petri. Crimea"
“Ai-Petri. Crimea”

What happened

On the evening of January 27, visitors to the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow reported that an unidentified man had stolen Arkhip Kuindzhi’s Ai-Petri.Krym painting. The first about the theft was the author of the Telegram-channel “Museum Snob”. According to him, the guy dressed “in his shirt and pants, like a museum employee” approached the picture and took it off the wall. After that he went behind the pillar, took the picture out of the frame, and left. This same source reported “,” information about the theft was confirmed in the Ministry of Culture.

The place on which hung a picture of the photo “Museum Snob”

The visitors of the gallery decided that the man was one of her employees and just changed the picture, so no one suspected anything, including the room supervisor. She called the guard after the thief had left.

Ren-TV, without reference to sources, writes that during the theft of a painting, criminals stole a fur coat from the wardrobe in order to divert attention. According to “Moscow Says”, the police learned about the theft of the painting by accident – they initially arrived at the gallery because of the loss of a fur coat.

One of the eyewitnesses told “Moscow says” that the picture of Kuinji was on the wall as early as 16:20. Noticed the loss of about 18 hours. At the same time, visitors were not asked to leave the gallery, but were given to watch the exhibition.

Who stole the picture

According to a Tass source in law enforcement, two people participated in the theft of a painting. This was also reported to the agency by the official representative of the Ministry of Interior, Irina Volk. According to her, the guards saw two robbers when they were looking at security cameras.

The frame of the picture, which left the thief

The eyewitnesses at the same time told only about one man, they also called his omens.


A source of “Interfax” in law enforcement agencies said that the robber had an accomplice who was waiting for him in the car. According to the interlocutor of the agency, according to eyewitnesses, there was an identikit of the abductor who was sent to the Moscow police.

According to TASS, the kidnappers behaved calmly, without attracting attention, and did not hide their faces.

The Moscow Agency reported that the thief had disappeared on a white Mercedes ML with a black hatch, and was being searched by the police. According to Mash, the robber drove away on a white Mercedes GL.

How the gallery and authorities responded

Immediately after it became known about the theft, visitors were no longer allowed to leave the museum, after which they were checked at the exit, the Museum Snob and the Moscow Agency reported . According to Moscow Says, visitors were also interviewed.

Check visitors to the Tretyakov Gallery at the exit of the museum photo “Museum Snob”

At the entrances to the Tretyakov Gallery were on duty staff Rosgvardii, at the outputs – the museum’s security service. Rosgvardeytsy ensured that prohibited and dangerous items were not carried into the gallery. When all visitors left the museum, they closed the entrance to it – only law enforcement agencies remained in the room. The police interview witnesses and view security cameras to find out where the kidnappers went.

The Tretyakov Gallery began an internal audit, told Olga RNS, adviser to the Minister of Culture Olga Andoneva. She assured that the details of the theft will be known in the morning of January 28. The gallery stressed that it will work on a schedule. However, as noted by the agency “Moscow”, sources in the Tretyakov Gallery say the opposite.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Kuindzhi’s stolen painting was entered into the register of stolen and missing items of the museum fund. This is necessary so that it could not be taken abroad.[/perfectpullquote]

The TASS source did not rule out that if they did not find the picture, it would be included in the Interpol base and declared on the international wanted list. He also suggested that the theft was committed “for order” for sale abroad. Information about the initiation of a criminal case of theft of the picture at the time of writing this note is not.

What kind of exhibition Kuindzhi

The exhibition of Arkhip Kuindzhi takes place on two floors of the Engineering building of the Tretyakov Gallery from October 6 to February 17. The exhibition includes about 200 works by the artist.

Kuindzhi wrote “Ai-Petri.Crime” in the 1890s, the size of the painting is 39×53 centimeters. After the artist’s death, the painting was supposed to be in the Mariuopol’s art museum as a gift to his hometown. However, due to the First World War, and then the civil war, this did not happen. The painting was kept in the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg, it was brought to Moscow for the sake of Kuindzhi’s exhibition.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Estimated cost of the painting “Ai-Petri. Crimea ” is one million dollars. The picture is insured , the cost of insurance is estimated at 12 million rubles.[/perfectpullquote]

The exhibits of the Kuindzhi temporary exhibition were insured by the Yakut company Sterkh, which received 695.5 thousand rubles for it.

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