Fined: Russian Art Curators Who Likened Jesus to Lenin
Two russian art curators were sentenced to hefty fines yesterday for inciting religious hatred over a 2007 exhibition that included artworks comparing Jesus Christ to Mickey Mouse and Vladimir Lenin.
The exhibition, entitled "Forbidden Art" was held three years ago at the Sakharov Museum. Yuri Samodurov, the director of the museum until 2008, and Andrei Yerofeyev, the exhibition's curator, were fined 200,000 roubles and 150,000 roubles (4,300 and 3,200) respectively.
"This conviction means our government is following a dangerous path for a so-called democracy," said Mr Samodurov immediately after the verdict. He said he did not have the money to pay the fine and would appeal.
The case has pitted much of Russia's artistic and intellectual community against the resurgent Orthodox Church, and there were brief scuffles between the two factions outside the courtroom yesterday. Prosecutors had pushed for a jail sentence, and church activists were furious that no jail term was imposed.
"This can't be allowed to stand," a black-clad church activist holding a silver cross told the Associated Press. "Society must be protected from these people. …