MOSCOW, May 4 (RAPSI) - Russian eccentric performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky has been granted political asylum in France, his lawyer Dominique Beyreuther Minkov wrote on her Facebook page on Thursday.
As previously reported, Pavlensky along with his partner Oksana Shalygina and two children left Russia in January after the couple had been accused of sexual assault.
As Pavlensky said in an interview with the Ukrainian TV, the woman, who wrote a statement for the law enforcement agencies, was an initiator of meeting and communication with him and Shalygina. He denied the fact of sexual assault.
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, the man 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.
In May 2016, Pavlensky was sentenced to 1 year and 4 months of restriction of freedom for setting tyres on fire on Maly Konyushenny Bridge in St Petersburg. However, the artist was released from punishment because of expiry of the period of limitation for bringing to criminal responsibility.
In June 2016, Pavlensky was found guilty of setting fire to the Moscow headquarters of the Federal Security Service (FSB). The Meshchansky District Court of Moscow imposed a 500,000 ruble ($7,900) fine on Pavlensky and ruled in favor of FSB, which demanded 481,000 rubles ($7,700) from the artist in a civil lawsuit.