Scores of Muscovites were seen queuing outside the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow on Friday, as Russian artist Arkhip Kuindzhi’s stolen “Ai-Petri. Crimea” painting returned back to the exhibition.
Tretyakov Gallery’s chief curator Tatiana Gorodkova stated the theft left minor markings on the painting.
"Due to the theft the painting got nonthreatening defects, as to a number of interfacial bruises close to the edges of the painting and an indent," she said. Gorodkova added that the gallery decided to take the artwork back to the exhibition since the defects “do not require emergency restoration.”
The painting will be exhibited in the gallery until February 17. It is then due to return to the State Russian Museum in Saint-Petersburg.
Kuindzhi’s painting was stolen on February 28 from the State Tretyakov Gallery, and found shortly afterwards in a construction site outside of Moscow.
The suspected thief was arrested on the spot and remains in custody. He faces up to 15 years behind bars if convicted of stealing the painting.