Man faces sentencing for damage to Celmiņš painting

A 28-year-old Pennsylvania resident is scheduled to be sentenced in April for vandalizing a painting by Latvian-American artist Vija Celmiņš reportedly worth USD 1.2 million.

Timur Serebrykov of Greenfield, Pa., pleaded guilty Jan. 20 to one charge of institutional vandalism, according to records of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas. He had been accused in the May 16 incident in which he used a key to rip the painting, Night Sky #12.

Serebrykov at the time was a security guard in the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, where the painting was on display as part of the 55th Carnegie International. At the time of his arrest, according to media reports, Serebrykov admitted to damaging the painting because he did not like it.

The oil on canvas painting, part of Celmiņš’ “Night Sky” series, depicts a field of stars against a black background. It was on loan from the Art Institute of Chicago. It was painted from 1995-1996, according to the Carnegie Museum of Art.

Serebrykov, an immigrant from Azerbaijan, is to be sentenced April 7.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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