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.”

Recently Played

Latest Headlines

in Music, Viral Videos

WATCH: ‘Stingtones’

Fresh
24-overlay2

What if Sting recorded your cell phone ringtone - or, even better - your voicemail message?

in Entertainment

‘Fury’ is all the rage at the box office

Fresh
fury

Brad Pitt's gritty World War II drama conquered all box office foes over the weekend, ringing up $23.5 million in ticket sales.

in Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: This forecast has gone to the dogs

Fresh
20-overlay3

A dog visits the set of a Canadian newscast and steals the show.

in Entertainment

Today in entertainment history: Oct. 20

madonna

A look back at the Hollywood headlines that went down in history.

in Entertainment

Former ‘American Idol’ contestant Joanne Borgella dead

joanneborgella

The singer/model passed away on Saturday, a year she was diagnosed with endometrial cancer.