News

Russian police seize painting of Putin in women’s underwear

Russian police seize painting of Putin in women’s underwear

A visitor takes a picture of the artwork entitled "Travesty" by Konstantin Altunin at an exhibition at the Muzei Vlasti (Museum of Authorities) in St. Petersburg August 15, 2013. Photo: Reuters/Stringer

By Liza Dobkina

ST PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) – Police seized a painting of Russia’s president and prime minister in women’s underwear from a gallery in St Petersburg, saying the satirical display had broken unspecified laws.

The officers also removed a picture of the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, his torso covered in tattoos, and two others poking fun at lawmakers who have backed legislation banning so-called gay propaganda, gallery staff said.

The police service said it had taken paintings from the “Museum of Power” gallery – based in two rooms of a flat – late on Monday after receiving reports they were illegal.

It gave no further detail but Russia does have a law against insulting authorities – an offense that carries a maximum one-year prison term.

One painting showed president Vladimir Putin wearing a tight-fitting slip and brushing the hair of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who is wearing knickers and a bra.

St Petersburg deputy Vitaly Mironov, whose face was combined with the gay rights movement’s rainbow flag in one of the paintings, told Reuters the images were inappropriate and “of a distinctly pornographic character”.

St Petersburg, which next week hosts world leaders at a G20 summit, was one of the first Russian cities to introduce a law banning the spread of “gay propaganda”.

The Russian parliament has also adopted similar legislation, prompting protests from abroad and calls for a boycott of the Winter Olympics which Russia will host in the Black Sea resort of Sochi in February.

Gallery owner Alexander Donskoy said the officers had also shut down his establishment and have him no explanation for the removal of paintings from the exhibition, titled ‘Leaders’.

“This is an (illegal) seizure,” he told Reuters. “We have been given no formal documents banning us from operating and no receipt confirming our petty cash was seized.”

Recent Headlines

in Viral Videos

Famous album covers come alive

18-overlay1

No, your eyes aren't tricking you. The album covers in Roy Kafri's new music video ARE singing along.

in Sports

NFL: Legal process will play role in punishments

nfl

Punishment for players implicated in domestic violence will not be imposed upon arrest but at some point "farther down the process."

in National

Ebola czar starts work, drugmakers launch vaccine drive

ebola

The Obama administration is ramping up its response to the potential spread of the virus.

in National, World

Canadian parliament attacked, soldier fatally shot

canadashooting

A gunman shot a soldier and then entered the country's parliament buildings, with at least 30 shots fired in dramatic scenes in the heart of the Canadian capital.

in National

U.S. farmers battling bugs

harvest

With record harvests depressing prices, farmers are using chemicals that protect stored grain from critters.