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 Entertainment

REVIEW: Cast keeps ‘Heaven Is for Real’ grounded

This image released by Sony Pictures shows Connor Corum, left, and Greg Kinnear in a scene from "Heaven Is For Real."

Based on the true story described in the best-selling book, the film introduces us to a four year old boy who says he went to heaven.

in Entertainment

Could we soon see ‘Mrs. Doubtfire 2?’

robinwilliams

This could be the sequel we've been waiting for.

in Music

Willie Nelson doesn’t get older; he just gets cooler

willienelson

Just days before his 81st birthday, the country star will pick up a fifth-degree black belt.

in Music

’15 ACM Awards sell out in mere minutes

acm

Next year's Academy of Country Music Awards is already a hit.

in Entertainment

Amy Poehler and Will Arnett officially file for divorce

poehler

Though they've been separated since 2012, we're sad to see one of Hollywood's funniest couples split.