Russian Court sensationally releases dissident artist Pavlensky

Author : International 112

Source : 112 Ukraine

The world was shocked by the release of Pyotr Pavlensky, Russian performance artist and political activist known for nailing his scrotum to Red Square. Read the story behind..
12:38, 9 June 2016

The prosecutor asked to sentence the artist to $7,800 fine, but taking into account the mitigating circumstances, he recommend to reduce the amount by half as reported by

Related: Russian artist faces jail for setting fire to Federal Security Service building

Artist Pavlensky was on trial for his performance called “Threat. The Burning Door of Lubyanka”. He doused the door at Russian FSB security service headquarters in Moscow with gasoline and set it on fire. As Noah Sneider wrote, "with Lubyanka’s doors ablaze, it took 17 seconds for a portly police officer in a reflective neon coat to reach Pavlensky. Soon several stunned others arrived, wrestled him to the ground, and corralled him and the photographers into a police van.” It happened November 9, 2015.

June 7, Pavlensky’s lawyers filed a complaint with the Attorney General's Office on the illegal actions of the FSB (according to the protection of the artist, in 2008). In 2007, the expert committee on the Cultural Heritage of Moscow recognized the FSB building an object of cultural heritage. According to the law, the reconstruction works at such facilities can be carried out only with the special permission of the authorities. Lawyers of Pavlensky believe that actions of FSB employees should be qualified as damage to cultural heritage.

The torched door is not an object of protection, because Moscow authorities have recognized facade of FSB Lubyanka building as such; without the "woodwork" (windows and doors). The door is not even a copy of the one that was designed by architect Alexey Shchusev.

Related: Instead vandalism, Pavlensky asked the court to be charged of terrorism

In November, Pavlensky asked the judges to charge him with terrorism. He claimed that his “crime” was similar to those of others judged under that charge. As a strong sign of solidarity, Pavlensky was referring to Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov and activist Alexander Kolchenko (both from annexed Crimea) convicted to 20 and 10 years jail. Sentsov and Kolchenko were accused of setting fire to the offices of “United Russia” and “Russian Community of Crimea” in Simferopol (Crimea).

"Burning door of Lubyanka is a glove that society throws in the face of the terrorist threat. Federal Security Service operates by continuous terror and holds power over 146 million people," the artist explained.

Fortunately, this judicial tangle is over and artist Pavlensky came out of jail saying: "Thank you to those who weren't afraid." The whole story of this performance is full of symbols (the art of Pavlensky seem to be more than meaningful). Even the name of the court - Meshansky District Court of Moscow – is full of symbolism. “Meshansky” in Russian means “philistine.” When Pavlensky came out of the building of the court, he said; “the trial is philistine, and the verdict is philistine”.

Related: Kolchenko: fight for Ukraine without slaves and without masters

Numerous journalists came to see the artist's first steps out of the court. Some of them said that Pavlensky should not think about the money to be paid as a fine, as the activist has a lot of supporters who would gladly help him with money. Pavlensky replied that this is not a "loan action", adding that once you have healthy hands, you must work. He also noted that everything that he is satisfied with his performance; he managed to show that the law enforcement system is totally rotten, and due to its preposterousness, it can selfdestroy.

Pavlensky did not reveal his future plans, but there is no doubt that he would continue his political and artistic activity.

Related: Russia’s Supreme Court refuses to reconsider sentence in Sentsov-Kolchenko case

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