Russian police arrest man who vandalized Ivan the Terrible painting

A painting by Russian painter Ilya Repin titled Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan on November 16, 1581. (Courtesy photo)
Updated 27 May 2018
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Russian police arrest man who vandalized Ivan the Terrible painting

  • In 1913, a man stabbed the work with a knife, ripping the canvas in three places
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin said the story was a "legend" used by the West against Russia

MOSCOW: Russian police on Saturday said they arrested a man for vandalizing one of the best known works of 19th century painter Ilya Repin, depicting Ivan the Terrible killing his son, at a gallery in Moscow.
Police said the man used a metal pole to break the glass covering Repin's world famous painting of the 16th century Russian Tsar, titled "Ivan the Terrible and his Son Ivan on November 16, 1581."
The Tretyakov Gallery said the work was "seriously damaged" as a result.
"The canvas has been ripped in three place in the central part of the Tsar's son. The original frame suffered from the breaking of the glass," the gallery said in a statement.
"Thankfully the most valuable part was not damaged," it added, referring to the face and hands of the Tsar and his son, the Tsarevich.
The statement added that the incident took place late on Friday, just before the museum closed.
"The man entered the already empty Ilya Repin room. He bypassed staff who were scanning the rooms before the closing, and hit the glass of the painting several times with a metal pole," the gallery said.
Russian state news agency TASS reported the man, a 37 year-old from the central city of Voronezh, did so for "historical reasons."
Police later released a video of the man, who said he acted under the influence of alcohol.
"I came to look at it (the painting). I went to the buffet in the evening, I wanted to leave. Then I drank 100 grams of vodka. I don't drink vodka and something hit me," the man said.

Ultra patriotic groups have protested against the painting before, notably in 2013 when monarchists demanded for it to be removed from the gallery.
The gallery refused to remove it and reinforced security around the work.
It is not the first time the painting has suffered an attack. In 1913, a man stabbed the work with a knife, ripping the canvas in three places. Ilya Repin was then still alive and participated in the restoration of his painting.
Since 1913, the painting has been protected by glass.
Russian state officials have lobbied for the rehabilitation of the medieval ruler's image, who led Russia from 1547 to 1583 and earned the moniker "Terrible" due to his brutal policy of oprichnina, which included the creation of a secret police that spread mass terror and executed thousands of people.
He also killed his own son, most likely by accident during a violent rage.
In June 2017, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the story was a "legend" used by the West against Russia.
"Did he kill his son? Did he not? Many experts say he did not and that this was invented by the Pope's Nuncio who came to Russia for talks and tried to turn Orthodox Rus to a Catholic Rus," Putin said.
In October 2016, Russia inaugurated a controversial monument, the first of its kind, to the 16th century tyrant in Oryol, a city some 335 kilometres south of Moscow.


30 Afghan security forces killed in Taliban attacks: officials

Updated 27 min 55 sec ago
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30 Afghan security forces killed in Taliban attacks: officials

  • The killings came just days after members of the Taliban had posed alongside ANA soldiers during the Eid ceasefire
  • At least 15 Taliban were also killed in the fighting and many others injured

HERAT, Afghanistan: Taliban fighters killed around 30 Afghan security forces in multiple attacks in western Afghanistan, officials said Wednesday, in the deadliest clashes since the militant group ended its cease-fire.
Militants stormed at least two bases belonging to government forces in Badghis province overnight and ambushed a convoy of reinforcements. Officials said the group may have used the three-day truce, that ended Sunday, to plan the attacks.
“More than half of the fatalities came from the ambush and roadside bomb blasts that hit a reinforcement convoy,” provincial governor Abdul Qhafoor Malikzai told AFP.
The other soldiers and police were killed when militants raided their bases, Qhafoor added.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attacks in a WhatsApp message to journalists.
Provincial council chief Abdul Aziz Bek confirmed the death toll and accused the Taliban of taking advantage of the suspension in fighting to do reconnaissance in the area.
“During the cease-fire the Taliban had sent informants to collect information about the bases and plan the attack,” he told AFP.
Badghis governor spokesman Jamshid Shahabi told AFP that 15 Taliban fighters were also killed and 21 wounded in the attacks on two bases in Bala Murghab district.
The defense ministry issued a statement saying fighting in the area continued as the Taliban faced “stiff resistance” from Afghan security forces.
Further reinforcements had been deployed, the statement said.
It appeared to be the deadliest fighting since the Taliban returned to the battlefield on Monday after refusing a government request to extend their unprecedented three-day cease-fire.
President Ashraf Ghani announced over the weekend that the government’s eight-day cease-fire, which had been scheduled to expire on Tuesday, would be prolonged for another 10 days.
The first formal nationwide cease-fire since the 2001 US-led invasion had sparked extraordinary scenes of Taliban fighters, security forces and civilians happily celebrating the Eid Al-Fitr holiday together.
But the jubilation appeared to alarm Taliban leaders, who on Sunday ordered their fighters to stay at their posts or in areas under their control.
The Taliban hailed the truce as a success and a demonstration of their “full control” over their fighters.
The government’s move to extend its cease-fire with the Taliban may buy Ghani more time to work out how to keep the momentum going.
His February offer of peace talks with the Taliban, considered to be one of the most comprehensive plans ever offered by an Afghan government, was ignored by the militants, who went on to launch their annual spring offensive.
The insurgents have repeatedly demanded direct dialogue with the United States, which Washington has refused, and the withdrawal of foreign troops.
Ghani said Tuesday he was prepared to extend the cease-fire to a year “if the Taliban accepts it,” according to a video of a meeting between the president and a group of peace marchers who arrived in the capital on Monday.
The government’s cease-fire does not extend to the Daesh group, which claimed responsibility for two suicide attacks in the eastern province of Nangarhar over the weekend that marred an otherwise peaceful Eid holiday.