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Russian police detain suspect after bold gallery heist

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MOSCOW — Russian police said on Monday they had arrested a man caught on camera taking a painting off the wall of a major Moscow art gallery and strolling out with it under his arm. Visitors at the State Tretyakov Gallery on Sunday barely gave the man a second look, taking him for an employee. It is the second embarrassing incident at the State Tretyakov Gallery in less than a year after a man damaged one of the most famous paintings with a metal pole last May. Ai Petri, Crimea, a mountain scene painted by Russian landscape artist Arkhip Kuindzhi in 1908, is worth around $1 million, state TV said, though it was insured for only around $200,000. It was recovered on a nearby building site undamaged after the suspect admitted where he had hidden it, the police said, although the 31-year-old denied stealing it. Culture ministry official Vladislav Kononov said: “In a rating of the most stupid crimes of the 21st century, he has grounds to deserve an honorable mention.” — Reuters





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