A former guard at the Carnegie Museum of Art has been charged with vandalizing a million-dollar painting he apparently didn’t like, damaging it beyond repair.
The museum’s surveillance camera caught the vandalism on May 16, police said Thursday.
Timur Serebrykov, 27, of Pittsburgh, is accused of defacing “Night Sky .12” by Latvian-born Vija Celmins. The 31-by-37½-inch oil-on-canvas painting of a black starlit night had a large vertical gouge in the middle and was damaged beyond repair, according to a police affidavit.
The painting was valued at $1.2 million, authorities said. Museum spokeswoman Betsy Momich would not comment beyond confirming that a piece of art was vandalized and a suspect was arrested.
Court documents indicate Serebrykov used a key or other implement to damage the painting because he disliked it.
Serebrykov was arrested May 20. He is to be formally arraigned July 29 on a charge of institutional vandalism in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court.
The Carnegie Museum houses works by 19th-century artists Winslow Homer, Mary Cassatt and Camille Pissarro, as well as 20th-century painters Marsden Hartley, Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock.
The Associated Press could not locate a telephone number for Serebrykov. It was not clear if he had an attorney.