ST. PETERSBURG, September 6 (RIA Novosti) – Two paintings have been stolen from a controversial Russian museum that was briefly closed down for exhibiting a depiction of Russian leaders dressed in drag, the museum’s owner said Friday.
In late August, police shut the Museum of Authority in St. Petersburg after confiscating four paintings, including a portrait of President Vladimir Putin in a pink-white dress fondling the hair of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, clad in nothing but a pushup blue bra and matching panties.
Other confiscated works now being scrutinized for alleged “extremist” content included portraits of two ultra-conservative lawmakers and the leader of Russia’s dominant Orthodox Church sporting prison tattoos with skulls and profiles of Soviet leaders Vladimir Lenin and Josef Stalin.
The museum reopened on Thursday – without the confiscated works of art – and two more paintings exhibited there went missing just a day later, its owner said.
“The museum was open all day,” Alexander Donskoy told RIA Novosti. “Perhaps, somebody took a chance and appropriated two paintings.”
Donskoy said he would not report the theft to the police, adding ironically that “art must belong to people.”
He said that Friday was the last day of the museum’s work in a building in central St. Petersburg because the property’s owner had asked them to move out.
This is not the only trouble to befall the museum and its owner.
Artist Konstantin Altunin, whose four paintings were confiscated by police, fled to France in late August and applied for asylum in Paris.
Police also raided Donskoy’s another controversial enterprise in St. Petersburg, the G-Spot erotica museum, confiscating “Wrestling,” a portrait featuring Putin and US President Barack Obama dueling with oversized, multi-colored penises.
Donskoy, a former mayor of the Arctic city of Archangelsk, received a suspended three-year jail sentence for abuse of power and was fined for using forged documents in 2008. He claimed that the charges against him were concocted after he declared presidential ambitions in 2006, Russian media reported.