Moscow court to examine legality of sentence imposed on Russian eccentric artist
MOSCOW, September 23 (RAPSI, Lyudmila Klenko) – The Moscow City Court is to examine an appeal of defense against a sentence imposed on Russian performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky, who was found guilty of setting fire to the Moscow headquarters of the Federal Security Service (FSB), on October 13, Kirill Ryabchikov, the interim press secretary of the court told RAPSI on Friday.
Pavlensky’s lawyer noted that she filed the motion with a higher court seeking to reverse the guilty verdict and asking it to review the case.
On June 8, the Meshchansky District Court of Moscow imposed a 500,000 ruble ($7,600) fine on performance Pavlensky and ruled in favor of this security agency, which sought 481 thousand rubles ($7,400) in the framework of a civil lawsuit.
The court imposed on Pavlensky a fine of 1.5 million rubles ($23,000); however, taking into account his detention during pretrial investigation, this amount was reduced to 500,000 rubles ($7,600). The artist was set free in the courtroom.
Additionally, Pavlensky was sentenced to pay a 480,000 ruble ($7,400) compensation to FSB for the damaged door of its Moscow headquarter.
The artist told a crowd of journalists gathering to report about the proceedings, that he was “disinterested” in the results of the lawsuit.
Eccentric artist Pavlensky was arrested on November 9, 2015, along with several other people who claim to be journalists that were invited to the artist’s performance. The next day Pavlensky was detained under a court decision.
Initially Pavlensky was accused of vandalism but later investigators reclassified charges against him to ‘destruction of cultural heritage sites’.
Pavlensky is known for a number of controversial performances.
In July 2012, he sewed up his mouth and stood at the Kazan Cathedral with a poster in support of Pussy Riot.
In May 2013, Pavlensky lay down on the ground in front of the St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly naked with barbed wire around his body.
In November 2013, also naked, Pavlensky nailed his scrotum to the Red Square pavement near the Lenin Mausoleum.
In October 2014, he staged an eccentric stunt on the roof of the Serbsky Mental Institution in Moscow by cutting off one of his earlobes.
In February 2015, Pavlensky and his accomplices burned car tyres, waved Ukrainian flags and banged sheet metal with sticks in a show of solidarity with the anti-government protesters in Ukraine. The performance was held near the Church of the Savior on Blood in St. Petersburg.