Skip to main content

Damage to Ilya Repin’s famous painting of Ivan the Terrible is 60 times worse than originally estimated


The damage to Ilya Repin’s famous painting, “Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan on November 16, 1581,” is apparently much worse than the Tretyakov Gallery first thought. The museum's experts now say it will cost 30 million rubles ($477,600) to repair the gashes left when a man named Igor Podporin grabbed a metal barrier post on May 25 and smashed through the painting’s glass frame, striking it in three places. The painting is worth an estimated 730 million rubles ($11.6 million). Museum officials initially said the damage to the painting was about 500,000 rubles ($8,000).

Repin’s painting, after the attack on May 25
Repin’s painting, after the attack on May 25
Sergey Vedyashkin / City News Agency “Moscow”

Speaking in court, Podporin said he considers Ivan the Terrible to be a saint and believes Repin’s depiction of the tsar killing his own son — an event that likely never took place — is blasphemy and an affront to Orthodox Christians. Podporin is charged with damaging a cultural monument of special national significance, which carries a maximum penalty of six years in prison.