VSL:WEB // Grand, funny photographs of grand, serious art galleries

Attention, art thieves! According to our sources, the first line of defense at Russia’s Hermitage is a little old lady who may well be asleep.

The San Francisco photographer Andy Freeberg has posted a gallery of the babushkas standing watch in Russia’s great museums. The photos themselves are masterly: The wallflower with a purse on her lap looks like she’s been annexed from a group portrait to her right. And a guard at New Tretyakov Gallery appears to be sitting below a portrait of her much younger, breast-baring self. The only deterrent these security-minded senior citizens seem to offer is their long, cold stares — but, of course, in Putin’s Russia, the biggest rip-offs are taking place right outside, and under the Kremlin’s auspices.

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VSL:WEB // Grand, funny photographs of grand, serious art galleries