May 29, 2018

A Moscow gallery wants to ban alcohol from its premises after a man drunkenly attacked a controversial painting on view there.

On Friday night, a man visiting Moscow’s State Tretyakov Gallery became “overwhelmed” by Ilya Efimovich Repin’s 1885 painting Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan on November 16, 1581 after downing about two shots of vodka. He suddenly grabbed a metal security pole and proceeded to “strike the canvas several times,” the South China Morning Post reports. In a video from the Interior Ministry of the perpetrator confessing to the attack, he includes that he usually doesn’t drink vodka, but upon taking the shots, “something just snapped,” DW notes.
In response to the man’s vodka-infused attack, which resulted in serious damage to the painting, the gallery’s director, Zelfira Tregulova, wants to ban the sale of alcohol on their premises, including at an on-site restaurant and cafe. “The incident was awful and frightening and speaks to the aggression which reigns in society,” said Tregulova, while calling for people to better differentiate between works of art and historical events. In addition to removing alcoholic beverages from their location, the gallery is coordinating a team of experts to oversee the work’s restoration, which will most likely take several years. When the work is finally returned, they plan to encase it in bullet proof glass.