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.
What is the state of academic freedom in 2015? Index on Censorship magazine’s summer issue takes a global vantage point to explore all the current threats – governmental, economic and social – faced by students, teachers and academics. Also in this issue: Sir Harold Evans, AC Grayling, Tom Holland and Xinran present their free-speech heroes.