Police in Russia's second city St. Petersburg on Tuesday (September 3) detained the director of a museum that featured controversial paintings, including one depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in women's lingerie.

The Museum of Power's director, Tatiana Titova, had also been briefly detained a week before, when police seized several paintings and sealed the museum.

On Tuesday, police also took paintings from the Museum of Erotica and sealed the doors.

Titova said she was detained several times. She also said her museum was meant to highlight the role of power in society and government.

Officers also removed a picture of the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, his torso covered in tattoos, and two others poking fun at lawmakers who have backed legislation banning so-called gay propaganda, gallery staff said.

It gave no further details but Russia does have a law against insulting authorities - an offence that carries a maximum one-year prison term.

Putin is playing host to the G20 summit on Thursday and Friday (September 5-6), where human rights activists have called on leaders to push him on his treatment and crackdown on civil society.

Presented by Adam Justice