Religious fanatics smash sculptures
Several sculptures by the renowned Soviet artist Vadim Sidur, above, have been smashed in the centre of Moscow by fanatical Orthodox activists who regarded the artworks ‘blasphemous’.
According to this report, Yelena Karneyeva, spokesperson for the Manege Museum – adjacent to the Kremlin and the Red Square – said:
Delusional people came to the exhibition and broke several works belonging to the Manege collection, by Vadim Sidur.
Orthodox activist Dmitry Tsorionov, also known as Enteo, head of the conservative God’s Will group, confirmed that he was at the Manege.
We called the police. They will close the exhibition for offending believers.
Enteo, who attempted to stop a gay pride rally in Moscow this year said the exhibition featured an “indecent” depiction of Jesus Christ and was:
Dirty, harsh mockery of Jesus Christ and the saints.
The exhibition, entitled “Sculptures that We Don’t See” was attacked on August 14. It included works of religious themes by Soviet sculptors – such as Sidur, Nikolai Silis, and Vladimir Lemport – censored during the Soviet period for being “non-conformist.”
The attack has sparked outrage. The radio journalist Vladimir Varfolomeev at Echo of Moscow tweeted:
Now Orthodox warriors are smashing a sculpture exhibition in the center of Moscow. Hail the Russian IS.
Alexei Knedlyakovsky, an artist whose installation about the Russian protest movement was also damaged by Enteo last year, tweeted:
Maybe after this Enteo will finally get jailed?
Meanwhile, Vladimir Legoida, a spokesperson for the Orthodox Church, said there should be a “legal assessment” of the attack, but added that believers:
Undoubtedly have the right to protest.
According to the BBC, top art gallery directors in Russia have denounced the vandals. In an open letter the gallery chiefs condemned the God’s Will group, which claims on its website that it stands for:
The resurrection and development of Russia as an Orthodox Empire, worshipping God the Creator and for a Russia without homosexuals, abortions, drug addiction or alcoholism.
The directors of Moscow’s world-famous Pushkin Museum and Tretyakov Gallery were among the signatories to the letter. They warned that the attack:
Threatens all of Russia’s museum community.
Separately, the head of the Hermitage Museum, Mikhail Piotrovsky, also deplored the attack, calling it:
An attempt to portray the Russian Orthodox Church as primitive and aggressive.
Four of Sidur’s works were damaged by the group – some of them severely. Sidur was a non-conformist, avant-garde artist in the Soviet Union in the 1950s and 60s. He was a disabled World War Two veteran and died in 1986.
Hat tip: AgentCormac