A man matching Chuprikov’s description was shown on security cameras one day before removing the painting from the wall of Moscow’s Tretyakov Gallery. According to the Moscow Times after seeing the footage, Chuprikov confessed.
He said he’d taken the landscape painting to settle debts; the artwork—which has been valued at $1 million (insured for $200,000) had been listed for sale online for $37,850. It was recovered in a basement on the outskirts of Moscow.
Vladislav Kononov, a Culture Ministry official said,
“In a rating of the most stupid crimes of the 21st century, he has grounds to deserve an honorable mention.”
The director of gallery, Zelfira Tregulova, described the painting’s swift recovery and undamaged state as a “miracle,” and said called the heist was a
“dramatic event for the entire Russian museum community.”
If convicted, Chuprikov could face up to 15 years in jail.
Security footage shows a suspect who removed a painting from a wall in plain sight of visitors at the Tretyakov Gallery in Russia. Authorities arrested the suspect and later recovered the painting, which was insured for approximately $182,000. https://t.co/9AENsceCaG pic.twitter.com/KC8rl8U2el
— ABC News (@ABC) January 29, 2019
(Photo, Wikimedia Commons; via Artsy)