Police said they confiscated four paintings by artist Konstantin Altunin — who has now fled the country to France — and closed down the exhibition of his work in Russia’s second city of St Petersburg, which is set to host world leaders for the G20 summit next month.
One of the paintings confiscated shows Putin playing with Medvedev’s hair. He is wearing a strappy nightie, while Medvedev has cleavage bursting out of a bra and is wearing skimpy knickers.
“We received information from a citizen that the images in the museum broke the law. Police confiscated four paintings and currently experts are examining them,” said police spokesman Vyacheslav Stepchenko.
The exhibition explicitly referenced a law recently passed by Putin banning promotion of homosexuality among minors, although police did not specify the legal grounds for its closure.
The law, which critics says can be used to shut down any gay rights event, has prompted a chorus of international protest and British actor Stephen Fry this month called for Russia to be deprived of the right to host the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
The exhibition’s organiser Alexander Donskoi said police had accused the small privately-owned Museum of Power of extremism, a criminal offence that carries more serious charges.