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Russian police seize another sexy Putin painting

Work showing the Russian president competing with his American counterpart in a graphic display of manliness is removed from erotic museum in St Petersburg

Vera Donskaya-Khilko's Wrestling, 2011

Police in St Petersburg Russia have raided a museum of erotica and seized a painting depicting naked warriors who resemble the Russian and American presidents, Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama, competing in a very graphic display to prove who is the manliest. The incident is among a recent sweep of potentially controversial art in museums in the lead-up to the G20 summit, which starts in St Petersburg on 5 September.

The museum and sex shop, called Tochka G (G Spot), is owned by Aleksandr Donskoi, a businessman and former politician. Last week, police raided another venue of his, the recently opened Museum of Authority. There, authorities seized four paintings, one showing Putin in women’s lingerie (see related story).

The work removed from Tochka G, Wrestling, was created by Vera Donskaya-Khilko, an artist known for depicting naked celebrities. She told the Ria Novosti news agency on Tuesday that she was surprised that the police suddenly found the work to be shocking since it was painted in 2011 and has been widely reproduced. The piece that was taken is a copy of the original, which is at the museum’s Moscow branch, she said.

A police spokesperson told Ria Novosti that police were responding to “a report from citizens that there are paintings in the museum that might violate existing legislation”.

Both museums have been targeted by Vitaly Milonov, a city legislator who has championed anti-gay laws.

On Tuesday evening, Russian news agencies reported that Tatyana Titova, the director of the Museum of Authority, had been detained by police for the second time in 24 hours. A police spokesperson told Ria Novosti that she had been trying to break the police seal on the museum.

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