MOSCOW -- Police in Moscow are searching for a man who walked around almost completely naked inside the Tretyakov Art Gallery -- the same Moscow museum where a man in January removed a valuable painting from a wall and walked out with it in broad daylight.
Video footage posted on social media shows the man clad only in a red thong on March 20 walking inside several halls of the museum before leaving the building.
He was not stopped by officers from the National Guard of Russia who've been posted there to bolster security since the theft of the painting in January.
The man also had painted his body gold, leading museum officials to conclude that his stroll was "an unsanctioned performance."
They say another person, described in Russian media reports as a "co-conspirator," also left several "gifts" in the museum that looked like artworks while staff and visitors were distracted by the stunt.
Valery Gribakin, a spokesman for the National Guard of Russia, said security officers never saw the man on March 20 because he walked in parts of the museum where they were not present.
The National Guard's press service said museum employees who witnessed the escapade did not activate an alarm.
On January 28, a man who walked into the Tretyakov Gallery casually lifted a 1908 painting by Arkhip Kuindzhi called Ai Petri, Crimea off a wall and carried it out the building by walking through rooms filled with visitors.
Denis Chuprikov, a 32-year-old Russian citizen who was born in Crimea, was later detained and charged with theft.
The painting, valued at $1 million but insured for only about $185,000, was recovered later at a construction site near Chuprikov's home in a village near Moscow.
The Tretyakovka, one of Russia's leading art museums, has been targeted by criminals several times in recent years.
In May 2018, a famous 19th-century painting by Russian realist Ilya Repin was damaged at the Tretyakovka by a man who struck it with a metal rod.