21 September 2012, 10:22
Nine people detained for violating public order at scandalous exhibition at Vinzavod
Moscow, September 21, Interfax - Nine people have been detained for public order violations at the Vinzavod gallery of contemporary art in the Fourth Syromyatnichesky Passage, a Moscow police spokesperson told Interfax.
"Nine people have been detained near 1, 4th Syromyatnichesky Passage, building 9, for public order violations," the spokesperson said.
The detainees will be taken to a police station for a "prophylactic talk".
The incident occurred ahead of the opening at Vinzavod's Gelman Gallery center of the Spiritual Abuse exhibition inspired by the Pussy Riot case.
A group of 20 Don Cossacks gathered near the entrance to Gelman Gallery on Thursday afternoon but found the door locked from the inside. They were later joined by Vinzavod employees, reporters and the first visitors, an Interfax correspondent reported from the scene.
The exhibition consists of four "icons" painted on wooden panels, 160 cm by 200 cm, by artist Yevgenia Maltseva and depicting the Pussy Riot punk band in color balaclavas in a conventional impressionistic style.
One of the "icons" has the word "Free" painted on it in large yellow letters.
The Cossacks, chanting "No to Liberal Fascism" and other slogans, attempted to force their way into the gallery. There is a heavy police presence and several police buses have been brought in.
Several Orthodox activists and Cossacks were detained and led into the buses.
Later, a group of young people appeared, one of them with a guitar, and staged an improvised concert. One of the "performers" was Dmitry Enteo, an Orthodox activist, who tore a "Free Pussy Riot" T-shirt off a man at the Paveletsky Railway Station and who was among those who later burst into the Theater.doc center where a performance about Pussy Riot was under way.
The Cossacks vowed to enter the gallery and said that some 200 more Cossacks were coming.
"We came to see with our own eyes whether this exhibition insults the feelings of believers," Oleg Kassin, co-chairman of the People's Assembly movement, told Interfax.
"I intend to record violations that occur at this exhibition. I saw photographs of these paintings, they are call icons, on the Internet. They incite interethnic enmity, which is particularly inadmissible on the eve of the Nativity of the Holy Mother of God," he said.
Earlier, the Eurasian Youth Union threatened to disrupt the exhibition and "destroy the blasphemous works".
The Moscow Patriarchate described the exhibition as a cynical act of terror against Russian culture.
"What is happening at this exhibition has nothing to do with art. This is yet another act of cynical and merciless terrorism against our culture," secretary of the Patriarchal Council for Culture Archimandrite Tikhon (Shevkunov) told Interfax-Religion.