A Russian gallery is considering removing a notable painting from display after it was vandalised by someone who took issue with the artist's take on a historical event.
'Alexander III receiving rural district elders in the yard of Petrovsky Palace in Moscow (1886)' by Illya Repin
Ilya Repin's 1986 portrayal of a highly contested historical scene depicts Tsar Ivan IV Vasilyevich allegedly getting into a fight with his son. As the tale goes, the Tsar's son died during the course of the alleged confrontation.
Many have questioned the historical veracity of this tale and even one of Repin's biggest supporters, Tsar Alexander III loathed the painting because of its apparent vulgar distortion of Russian history.
Last week, a homeless man called Igor Podporin visited the Tretyakov Gallery where the painting is displayed. According to an interview he gave to police, he looked at the painting before going to the gallery's canteen where he then drank copious
amounts of alcohol before returning to the painting and striking it. The attack has caused severe damage to the painting and its frame
This was not the first time the work was vandalised. In 1913, a gallery visitor slashed the painting with a knife while shouting no more blood. The incident led to the gallery's' curator committing suicide while the still living Repin was asked to
help restore his work.
A commentator from eurasiafuture.com called for the painting to be removed from public view saying:
With Russian history being insultingly distorted by racist regimes and bigoted media outlets throughout the world, the least a Russian gallery could do is not add fuel to this racially insensitive fire. .
Not a bad wind-up value for for a 19th century painting.