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article imageRussian court jails man who attacked tsar painting

By AFP     Apr 30, 2019 in World

A Moscow court on Tuesday sent a man who attacked a painting of Ivan the Terrible to a penal colony for two and a half years, news agencies reported.

Igor Podporin attacked a work by 19-century artist Ilya Repin showing the 16th-century tsar killing his son, damaging the work in three places.

He used part of a security barrier at Moscow's Tretyakov Gallery to break the glass covering the painting during the last year's attack.

At first, the builder from the southwestern city of Voronezh told police he was under the influence of alcohol at the time.

But in court he said he had wanted to damage the painting because it was "a lie" -- a smear on the reputation of Russia's first tsar.

At Zamoskvoretsky district court, Judge Natalya Cheprasova sentenced him to two and a half years in a "correctional colony," agencies reported.

The Tretyakov is now holding a major exhibition of Repin's works, but without the damaged painting as it is still being repaired.

This was not the first attack on the painting. In 1913, a man stabbed the work with a knife, ripping the canvas in three places. The artist Repin helped restore his painting.

Russian state officials have lobbied for the rehabilitation of Ivan the Terrible. Ivan Vasilyevich, the first of Russia's tsars, who ruled from 1547 to 1584.

He is known as Ivan the Terrible because of his brutal policies including 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 2017, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the story was a "legend" used by the West against Russia.

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