Nikolai Zadorozhny, 62, identified as the director of the Russian Icon museum by the news Web site Life News, was detained while carrying the 1690 icon Old Testament Trinity by Kirill Ulanov, RIA Novosti reported Thursday.
Zadorozhny has denied any wrongdoing and said he bought the painting from a private collector in Germany.
The icon was put on an international wanted list when it was stolen from a museum in the Vologda region in 1994.
Police said they found Zadorozhny through a tip.
2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]