Lifestyle & Belief

Painting of Putin in women's underwear seized by Russian police


A visitor looks at an artwork representing President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev by Russian artist Konstantin Altunin during the "Leaders" exhibition in cental St. Petersburg on Aug. 21, 2013.



Police in St. Petersburg seized a painting of Russia's president and prime minister in women's underwear, saying the artwork broke unspecified laws.

The piece by artist Konstantin Altunin depicts President Vladimir Putin in a tight-fitting pink slip and brushing the hair of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who is clad in a blue-flowered bra and underwear.

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Entitled "Travesty," it was on display in an offbeat art gallery known as the Museum of Authority.

The gallery has shown solidarity with Russia's gay rights movement.

Gallery staff said a picture of the head of the Russian Orthodox Church covered in tattoos, and two others satirizing lawmakers who backed anti-gay legislation were also removed Monday night.

St Petersburg deputy Vitaly Mironov told Reuters the images were inappropriate and "of a distinctly pornographic character."

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He did not say what laws were broken, although Russia does have a law against insulting authorities. Offenders face up to one year in prison.

Alexander Donskoy said authorities also shut down his gallery without explanation.

A video on the museum’s Russian social-networking page shows a police officer sealing shut the door to the gallery.