• The guard used a ballpoint pen to doodle on the expensive artwork
  • Painting was created by artist Anna Leporskaya between 1932 and 1934
  • Curator said the administration believes it was "some kind of a lapse in sanity"

A Russian security guard was fired for ruining a valuable painting on the very first day of his job. The avant-garde painting, which is nearly nine decades old, was sent for restoration after the guard decided to add a little touch of his own to the expensive artwork.

The “Three Figures” painting, created by artist Anna Leporskaya between 1932 and 1934, originally has three faceless figures and is worth around $1 million. The painting was on display at the Yeltsin Center in Russia for an exhibition when the unidentified security guard vandalized the artwork, according to Yahoo! News Australia.

It was reported that the guard, believed to be in his 60s, used a ballpoint pen to doodle some eyes on the originally faceless figures because he was bored.

The damage was first noticed by two visitors, who were at the gallery on Dec. 7, 2021 for an exhibition called "The World as Non-Objectivity. The Birth of a New Art." The painting, which was taken on loan from the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, was returned for restoration.

Since the guard used a ballpoint pen and did not apply strong pressure, experts believe the painting can be restored.

The Yeltsin Centre released a statement this week that said the guard was responsible for the damage, which is estimated to cost nearly $3,350.

“The painting is being restored, the damage, according to the expert, can be removed without consequences for the works of art,” read the center’s statement on Facebook. “The Yeltsin Center refrained from commenting on this situation in hot pursuit, as an internal investigation of the incident and interaction with law enforcement agencies were underway.”

The security guard was fired after the incident came to light. Alexander Drozdov, the executive director of the Yeltsin Center, said in a statement that the guard worked for a private company and used “a Yeltsin Center-branded pen” to doodle on the painting, according to The Guardian.

“His motives are still unknown but the administration believes it was some kind of a lapse in sanity,” said the exhibition’s curator, Anna Reshetkina, according to the publication.

Representative image Credit: Pixabay