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Vandal blames vodka for attack on Ivan The Terrible painting in Moscow museum

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The man detained over the vandalism attack on the Ivan The Terrible and His Son painting in the famous Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow has admitted he acted under the influence of alcohol. Video footage depicting an interrogation session of the suspect emerged in the Mash community on the VKontakte social networking site.

"I came to look at it. At 8 p.m. I visited a bar, drank 100 grams of vodka and something went wrong. I usually don't drink vodka. [Apparently], I got wasted [very easily]” he told the investigators.

The offender is Igor Podporin, 37. According to Russian media reports, he is homeless, has no prior criminal record and was not listed in the mental illness database.

The incident at the gallery took place on the evening of 25 May. The man grabbed a metal fencing bar, used it to break the painting's protective glass cover and then made several hits at the canvas.

The canvas was damaged in three areas. Luckily, the most valuable spots - the hands and the faces of the tsar and his son survived the attack. The authentic frame was damaged when the glass fell out. The painting was removed from the exposition and urged to a restoration shop. The police detained the vandal and opened a criminal case over the damage of cultural heritage.

According to, this is a second attack on the Ilya Repin's painting. In 1913, it was damaged with a knife by the devout Orthodox and icon artist Abram Balashev. Exactly 100 years ago, Russian Orthodox Church activists demanded that the Tretyakov Gallery's management removed the painting from the exposition, because the killing of his son by Ivan The Terrible was allegedly never supported by material evidence. Repin was still around to repair the painting back then.