September 25, 2019 / 2:39 PM / 23 days ago

Court jails man who walked out of Moscow art gallery with million-dollar masterpiece

FILE PHOTO: A screen grab taken from video footage shows a man walking with a painting by prominent artist Arkhip Kuindzhi at Tretyakov art gallery in Moscow, Russia January 28, 2019. Reuters Tv/via REUTERS

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A man who stole a Russian masterpiece worth about $1 million from a Moscow art gallery in broad daylight in January was sentenced to three years in prison on Wednesday.

Police arrested Denis Chuprikov after he was caught on camera taking the 1908 landscape painting “Ai Petri. Crimea” by artist Arkhip Kuindzhi off the wall of the Tretyakov Gallery and strolling out with it under his arm.

The painting depicts a mountain scene and was valued at about $1 million, state television said at the time, though it was insured for only $200,000.

Police recovered the work on a nearby building site after Chuprikov told them where he had hidden it.

He pleaded guilty to the theft before a Moscow court. He plans to appeal his sentence, the RIA news agency reported.

Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh; writing by Tom Balmforth; editing by Angus MacSwan

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