Russian Artist, Sentenced Over Bank Fire, Dedicates Trial to the Marquis de Sade | Modern Society of USA

Russian Artist, Sentenced Over Bank Fire, Dedicates Trial to the Marquis de Sade

Russian Artist, Sentenced Over Bank Fire, Dedicates Trial to the Marquis de Sade

A Russian artist granted political asylum in France was sentenced to three years in prison by a Paris court on Thursday for an art performance that involved setting fire to a bank.

Pyotr Pavlensky, 34, has become notorious in Europe for his dramatic acts of protest. In 2012, he sewed his lips shut in response to the jailing of the feminist punk collective Pussy Riot. The following year, he nailed his scrotum to the pavement of Red Square in Moscow. He said he was making a statement about political apathy in Russia.

The conviction on Thursday related to a 2017 performance called “Lightning,” in which Mr. Pavlensky and his then partner, Oksana Shalygina, set fire to a building of the Banque de France, the country’s central bank, on the Place de la Bastille square in central Paris.

“The Banque de France has taken the place of the Bastille, and bankers have taken the place of monarchs,” he said at the time. The Bastille prison, which the square is named after, was stormed by rebels in a key moment in the French Revolution of 1789.

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