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Court sentences vandal who damaged Repin masterpiece to 2.5 years in jail

Experts have estimated the damage to the painting at $465,600

MOSCOW, April 30. /TASS/. Moscow’s Zamoskvoretsky Court on Tuesday sentenced to two years and six months behind bars Igor Podporin, who damaged Ilya Repin’s painting "Ivan The Terrible And His Son Ivan On November 16th, 1581" at Moscow’s Tretyakov Gallery, a TASS correspondent reported.

"The court rules to sentence Podporin to two years and six months in a general regime colony," Judge Natalya Cheprasova said.

The man will receive credit for 11 months, which he had spent in custody and will serve less than a year behind bars. After the sentence comes into force, Podporin will be able to ask for being released on parole.

The court decided that the damaged panting has a special historic and cultural value. The judge did not find any aggravating circumstances and said the defendant did not suffer from any mental disorder.

The public prosecutors had demanded on a three-year sentence for Podporin. The representative of the affected party backed this decision, announcing plans to file a civil lawsuit after experts estimate the price tag of the painting’s restoration works.

The defendant has partially pleaded guilty. His lawyer said he would lodge an appeal. "We insist on a milder sentence as there are no grounds to believe that the damaged painting is national heritage."

Assault on Tretyakov’s treasure

The painting, one of Russia’s most famous, depicting Ivan the Terrible, grief-stricken and cradling his dying son, was damaged just before the gallery closed on May 25, 2018. Police arriving on the scene detained the perpetrator, who had smashed the glass protecting the painting with a metal poll, damaging the canvas. Criminal proceedings have been initiated. The culprit confessed to being intoxicated, claiming that he damaged the painting as it ran counter to established historical facts.

The gallery said the painting was badly damaged. The canvas was ripped in three places in the central section, while shards of glass that shattered in the attack damaged the frame as well. After the restoration the masterpiece will be placed into a special bulletproof capsule. Experts have estimated the damage to the painting, with the price tag of 720 mln rubles ($11 mln), at 30 mln rubles ($465,600).

This has been the second attack on the painting. On January 16, 1913, Abram Balashov, a 29-year-old icon painter and Old Believer, took a knife and slashed the painting three times. Repin had to paint the faces of the tsar and his son anew.