A security guard at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pennsylvania has been charged with vandalizing a painting by Latvian-American artist Vija Celmiņš. The USD 1.2 million painting, Night Sky #12, is said to be beyond repair.
Timur Serebrykov, 27, of Greenfield, Pa., was charged with institutional vandalism, Pittsburgh police announced June 5. The vandalism occurred May 16 and Serebrykov was arrested May 20. He allegedly used a key to rip the painting, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and other local media reports.
The oil on canvas painting is part of Celmiņš’ “Night Sky” series. The painting was one of several that earned the Latvia-born and New York-based artist the prestigious Carnegie Prize worth USD 10,000. The painting was on display as part of the 55th Carnegie International.
Serebrykov, according to a police affidavit cited by media reports, is said to have admitted to damaging the painting with a key. He told police he did not like the painting.
Serebrykov, an immigrant from Azerbaidjan, is said to have had no political motive behind the vandalism, according to media reports.
Serebrykov is due to be arraigned July 29 in Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas.
The painting Night Sky #12 by Latvian-American artist Vija Celmiņš was valued at USD 1.2 million.
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