Russia: British artists investigated for extremism and blasphemy
By Padraig Reidy / 7 December, 2012
An exhibition by British artists Jake and Dinos Chapman is being investigated by St Petersburg prosecutors after visitors complained that it was “blasphemous” and “extremist”.
The exhibition, at the world-famous Hermitage museum, features a crucified Ronald McDonald as well as the duo’s trademark Nazi figurines.
The museum’s director Mikhail Piotrovsky slammed the complaints and investigation as “culturally degrading to [Russian] society”.
Russia’s extremism laws have been criticised for being used to shut down free speech. Last week, a video of feminist art collective Pussy Riot’s protest in a Moscow Cathedral was categorised as extremist, and blocked on the web.
Don’t miss the spring issue of Index on Censorship magazine. Post Charlie Hebdo our commentators take a global view at how threats are being used to stop writers and artists, with Ariel Dorfman, David Edgar, Father Ted’s Arthur Mathews, Turkish novelist Elif Shafak and others. Also, major general Tim Cross and internet guru Martha Lane Fox go head to head on national security versus privacy, and Ismail Einashe on the perils of escaping from Eritrea.