“Don’t remember where you were during the day. You have to refresh my memory”
He deftly stole from the Tretyakov gallery painting for a million dollars. But made a mistake and got caught.
In the night of Monday the whole country was following the news about the theft of the painting Arkhip Kuindzhi from the Tretyakov gallery in Moscow. The story is daring, but not very successful thief is quite decent movie. In the eyes of the visitors he calmly removed from the wall landscape “AI-Petri. Crimea is” worth a million dollars, slowly left the Museum and was gone. Then all decided that the picture is lost forever: audacious thief probably all figured out, and made sure to cover his tracks… On his quest sent top operatives of the interior Ministry and the FSB of Russia — and a few hours later they arrested the thief. It was them 31-year-old krymchanin accused on charges of possession of drugs. Surprisingly, he almost tried to cover his tracks and hide from his pursuers. The details of the biggest Museum thefts in recent years found out “Tape.ru”.
To steal for 60 seconds
Last Sunday at the Tretyakov gallery will remember for a long time: on recordings from surveillance cameras can be seen in one of the halls of the Engineering building of the Museum comes a nondescript man. In the eyes of the visitors it is suitable for hanging on the wall painting Kuindzhi “AI-Petri. Crimea” (approximate cost — about a million dollars), removes the canvas from the wall and goes behind a pillar. The thief acted so confident that the witnesses decided in front of them — the worker of Museum.
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The attacker meanwhile took a small (39 to 53 centimeters) of the canvas from the frame and carefully put it on the floor, then slowly I walked to the painting across the room and soon left the Tretyakov gallery. Judging by the fact that the thief managed to escape, the loss in the Museum is not immediately noticed. According to the official representative of the Ministry of internal Affairs of Russia Irina Wolf, the guards Tretyakov saw the theft on surveillance video and called the police.
Around 18:00 the entrance to the Tretyakov gallery was closed, and all output was inspected by security agents. On cameras the investigators were able to track that suspect in the theft of sat in the SUV Mercedes ML and fled the scene. The car was declared wanted in Moscow introduced a plan “Interception”, but to midnight to apprehend the thief and failed.
At that time the Outlook was sad. The picture could not be detected in Russia, and then it would declare on the international wanted list and included in the database of stolen works of art Interpol. In this status it could be many years — but the fate of the paintings turned out differently.
Pierced on the bell
A special operation to catch the Museum thief led like staff of criminal investigation Department of the MIA of Russia and the Moscow Central Board of the Ministry, and operatives of the Federal security service (FSB). To catch a suspect they managed for several hours after the crime: the law enforcement agencies reported about 8:00 on January 28. 31-year-old native of Feodosiya Denis Chuprikova took in his own tent in the village Zarechye (Moscow region) — judging by his reaction, armed guests he did not expect:
I have no idea.
What crime was committed?
I don’t commit crimes. I’m a law — abiding citizen of Russia.
You previously convicted? Previously brought to criminal responsibility?
No. I do not violate the Constitution and laws of Russia.
Drugs were involved on the territory of Russia in December 2018?
Where you today was?
Where was the day, I do not remember. You have to refresh my memory.
According to the source “Tape.ru” in law enforcement, the suspect was issued a cell phone: on the record with one of the cameras shows a man’s calling someone. What billing calls all subscribers, caught in the camera lens, and led the operatives to the village of the District. The suspect unlocked for long and soon confessed that he had hidden the stolen painting Kuindzhi at a construction site in Odintsovo district of Moscow region. There cloth and found.
Investigators believe that the Museum thief acted out of selfish motives. He was the rich criminal past: just a month ago — December 2018 — a man was arrested for drug possession, but later released on his own recognizance. Actually, last year was for Chuprikova not too successful: he was also fined in the Mozhaisk district of the Moscow region 31 a thousand rubles for the appearance of the street drunk and swearing. He Chuprikov then explained his action by evacuation of the car, difficulties in obtaining credit and the quarrel with his wife.
By the way, according to “Moskovsky Komsomolets”, with his future wife Museum thief — mechanic education met in his native Crimea.
Together, they decided to go to help and at some point become a servant in a house in Barvikha. But the wife Chuprikova, it seems, did not expect that her husband will go to stealing in the Tretyakov gallery. “I’m absolutely amazed what happened,” she commented detention of her husband.
Luckily, the theft had no effect on the canvas — a law enforcement source previously assessed his condition as “normal.” However, in the Tretyakov gallery, the picture will return soon, becoming material evidence in a criminal case.
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Museum workers were more cautious in assessing prejudice: “While I can’t say anything. Unfortunately, no data”, — said the head of Department on public relations of the Tretyakov gallery Lara Bobkova. She added that in the Museum after the theft made serious conclusions: “security measures are strengthened on all stages of the Tretyakov gallery forever.”
Meanwhile, in the story of the abduction paintings Kuindzhi there are many oddities that say one thing: perhaps the motive for the theft is not as simple as it seems at first glance. First, the author of the paintings was born on 27 January (new style) 1842 — thus, the thief stole the painting in the birthday Kuindzhi (177 years). Second, the painting “AI-Petri. Crimea” kidnapped native of the Crimea — the network it has become an occasion for jokes about nostalgic for home thief.
Another interesting point: just 10-15 minutes before the Denis Chuprikov stole the painting Kuindzhi, in the Tretyakov gallery learned of another, much more banal theft. 47-year-old visitor found that she had disappeared was put in the coat closet cost of 250 thousand rubles. The victim wore it only on very important events, one of which was… the exhibition Arkhip Kuindzhi.
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The Museum guards began to look into the incident and it is possible that her employment voluntarily or involuntarily, have used the thief who stole the painting. By a strange coincidence, the young attendant, pick a coat from the visitors of the Tretyakov gallery, have been there for only two days…
Finally, it is surprising that the original data canvas “AI-Petri. Crimea” cost under a million dollars (66 million) was insured for only 180 thousand dollars (12 million rubles). While in the insurance company “Sterkh” reported that stolen from the Tretyakov gallery painting Kuindzhi was not insured at the time of the exhibition. Her insurance policy was applied only to transport of the Russian Museum (where it is constant) and Vice versa. However, in the afternoon of 28 January, the Director of the museums Department Ministry of culture Vladislav Kononov said that the picture Kuindzhi was insured at the time of exposure.
— Theft Kuindzhi from the Tretyakov gallery — not the first of its kind: now comes a series of such events, said in an interview with “ru” Alexey Kostochkin, former head of the antiquarian Department of the Moscow criminal investigation Department (CID).
The problem is that crimes related to the art market, should engage specialized units: it is a lot of work with the specificity. We have, unfortunately, this is not. Plus, in the West, unlike Russia, the museums are much better technically equipped in terms of security. There is a variety of cameras and motion sensors, which are sometimes connected to pictures: any attempted theft, once the alarm is triggered.
According to Kostochkina, in addition to Western museums much more professional security service that is able to identify criminals on behavior — for example, gestures and attitudes. Today in Russian museums on the framework is Asgardia, but sitting in the halls of ordinary grandmothers who not only are able to notice in the General flow of the thief, but physically can’t confront him.
The interior Ministry released a video of the abduction paintings Kuindzhi
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For example, in France there is a police Museum that deals only with the protection of art and funded separately from the state budget, — says ex-CID officer. In England, the special branch of Scotland Yard, Italy — special corps of carabinieri on crimes related to cultural values. They have access to the customs and tax through which you can monitor for potential buyers of stolen goods. At the same time Russia antique systems division of the CID in 2011 is actually gradually eliminated.
Early antique division of Moore controlled the market and carry out preventive measures against potential fence. The criminals know that because of law enforcement to steal this or that thing will be difficult. But today, the Museum of thieves past fear no — so they are becoming bolder and bolder.
According to the interlocutor “of the Tape.ru”, the theft of paintings Kuindzhi from the Tretyakov gallery was planned in advance and the thief was ready for it. Judging by the nature of the actions of Denis Chuprikova, he toured the Museum, tried to assess the presence of cameras, have studied the ins and outs of premises. May — calculated time up and down the stairs. On top of that the place from where you stole the painting, is not located in the heart of the Museum and was not particularly conspicuous.
— Spontaneously to get things like this almost impossible, — says Alexey Kostochkin. — In an unfamiliar environment, surrounded by people and in the presence of even the slightest protection of person unprepared simply confused. It will cover the jitters, which can attract unwanted attention. But the cameras show the thief was so quiet that it took for the Museum staff. The only mistake with the cameras, probably related to the fact that the thief was not sure whether it is possible for them to clearly identify appearance.
According to the former policeman, the theft of paintings Kuindzhi was a first for Chuprikova a crime of this kind — a kind of thieves ‘ debut. Real Museum of thieves-the professionals today or harassed for a long time, or known by name and are in a constant field of view of law enforcement. Today Pro on antique thefts in Russia are rather rare. And the black market of Antiques, as such, too — there is now no more transaction for the sale of individual works to collectors.
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Motif “Museum” crimes are often selfish or is it the desire to make history a kind of “thief of the century”, — said Kostochkin. — In the case of Kuindzhi probably the first, as the market paintings by this artist are now almost there. The latest sale of his paintings was many years ago at auction, but because of any illegal attempt of sale will be immediately known. But whether such variant is possible — the picture would tear off with hands at least a million dollars.
By the way, that the stolen painting was returned safe and sound, suggests that someone instructed the kidnapper how to handle the picture. There are a number of conditions, not fold, not wet, do not keep in the sun, do not expose extreme temperatures… all of Them the kidnapper fulfilled. And hardly before that, he guessed.
After returning to the Museum the stolen thing must pass the examination for authenticity. Its duration depends on each specific case. I guess the Museum staff can just look at her and tell she’s real or not. If before the theft, the painting took x-rays, can be carried out a second procedure for verification of results.Sergei Podstanitsky in the field of painting and collector
In turn, Alexey Kostochkin clarifies that the examination of the authenticity of the painting can be done for the day. But if we are talking about rare, unique works, the examination can last a month.
The evening of January 28 in the loud story of the theft of paintings Kuindzhi, it seems, everything fell into place. The thief is caught tomorrow, it will be arrested. The stolen canvas is again in good hands. Now the case for small — to await the outcome of the examination, which confirms that in the hands of the police really hit the painting…