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Thief stealing painting from Moscow gallery reimburses cost of restoration

The painting itself is worth some $200,000

MOSCOW, July 22. /TASS/. Denis Chuprikov, accused of stealing Arkhip Kuindzhi’s painting Ai-Petri. Crimea from the Moscow Tretyakov Gallery, has reimbursed the cost of restoration work, TASS reported from the courtroom on Monday.

Prior to the hearing by Moscow’s Zamoskvoretsky Court, the defendant's lawyer stated that Chuprikov had paid off the cost of restoration work in full, to the tune of 13,000 rubles ($206).

The Tretyakov Gallery's advocate said, for her part, that the reputation of the gallery had been damaged, and that the Russian Ministry of Culture had been recognized as the injured party.

On January 27, the artwork by landscape painter Arkhip Kuindzhi was lifted right off the wall in the Tretyakov Gallery. Chuprikov was arrested shortly afterwards and the painting, worth approximately about $200,000, was returned back to the museum. It had been brought from St. Petersburg’s Russian Museum to be displayed at the exhibition of Kuindzhi’s works in Moscow's Tretyakov Gallery.

Arkhip Kuindzhi (1842-1910) was an outstanding landscape painter of the second half of the 19th century. He managed to create a special type of romantic landscape based on a realistic perception of the world as transformed by his personal touch.

The 39x53 cm oil painting Ai-Petri. Crimea from the collection of St. Petersburg’s State Russian Museum is dated to the 1890s.