Hype attempt: Russian man gets 3 years for Kuindzhi painting theft from Tretyakov Gallery
MOSCOW, September 25 (RAPSI) – The Zamoskvoretsky District Court of Moscow on Wednesday sentenced Denis Chuprikov to 3 years in high-security penal colony for the theft of a painting by prominent Russian artist of Greek origin Arkhip Kuindzhi from the Tretyakov Gallery, RAPSI reports from the courtroom.
The court slightly reduced a term demanded by prosecutors, who asked the court to sentence Chuprikov to 4 years in custody. According to the prosecution, the guilt of Chuprikov was fully proven. The defendant in turn petitioned for suspended sentence.
During the trial, it was revealed that the stolen painting was restored for 13,000 rubles (over $200). According to the defense of Chuprikov, the defendant compensated damages in full.
At the Tuesday hearing, Chuprikov publicly apologized to the Tretyakov Gallery and Russia’s Ministry of Culture.
Earlier, the defendant pleaded guilty in full and called the committed theft an attempt to attract attention and hype.
According to investigators, the work “Ai Petri” was stolen from Moscow's Tretyakov Art Gallery on January 27. The 31-year old Chuprikov was arrested in the Moscow Region on January 28. The work “Ai Petri” was also found and seized from a project under construction in the Moscow Region’s Odintsovo District.
Police claimed the man committed the crime from mercenary motives.
On January 29, Moscow’s Tagansky District Court put Chuprikov in detention. Investigation into the theft of the painting was completed in late June.
Kuindzhi painted “Ai Petri. Crimea” depicting a mountain in the Crimea peninsula in 1908.