Russian police raided the “Museum of Power” art gallery in St. Petersburg Monday, confiscating a painting that depicted President Vladimir Putin and former Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in women’s underwear.
The satirical piece features Putin in a slip dress combing Medvedev’s hair, who wears a bra.
According to Russian authorities, the painting had broken unspecified laws. One law, which forbids insulting Russian authorities, carries a one-year prison term for some offenders.
Police also removed a painting of the head of the Russian Orthodox Church covered in tattoos and others, like St. Petersburg Deputy Vitaly Milonov, who backed anti-gay laws painted with a rainbow flag across their faces.
Milonov said that images were inappropriate and “of a distinctly pornographic character”.
Russia will host the Winter Olympics and has been criticized for its law banning “gay propaganda”.
Museum owner Alexander Donskoy said the gallery had been forced to close, but that the action was an illegal seizure.
"This is an [illegal] seizure," Donskoy said. "We have been given no formal documents banning us from operating and no receipt confirming our petty cash was seized."