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

This weekend in entertainment history

tomcruise

A look back on some of the most memorable moments in Hollywood history.

in Entertainment

REVIEW: Evil clown returns for “Poltergeist” reboot

18-overlay4

Just when you felt it was safe to look under the bed, we're given another "Poltergeist" movie.

in Entertainment

PLAYLIST: 19 of the best Summer songs

Patriotic Music

Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer. Start your season off right with this playlist spanning the '60s to now.

in Entertainment

Netflix: What’s coming and going in June

netflix

Take this long weekend to binge on shows and movies that are leaving Netflix and get a sneak peak at what's coming next month.

in Entertainment

REVIEW: Disney goes meta at the multiplex with ‘Tomorrowland’

21-overlay7

Long before the credits roll, Tomorrowland will have you craving a theme park turkey leg and planning a meet up at Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.