Criminalizing Art: Two Prominent Art Curators Face Three Years in Jail for Offending Orthodox Church

Two prominent art curators in Moscow, Yury Samodurov and Andrei Yerofeyev, are facing three years in prison for showing art that insulted the Russian Orthodox Church. It is the latest example of blasphemy prosecutions, a growing trend in the West and industrialized nations.

Despite an international outcry, Russian prosecutors held a 14-month trial and are demanding three years in prison for the men. It is a direct attack on free speech and the rights of artists in Russia. Ironically, the exhibit was shown at the Sakharov Museum, named after human rights leader and physicist Andrei Sakharov,

The exhibit “Forbidden Art” showed several paintings with images of Jesus Christ, including one as Mickey Mouse and another on the Order of Lenin medal.

Samodurov was previously convicted of inciting religious hatred for an exhibit in 2003 called “Caution: Religion!”

It is yet another example of the slide of Russia back into repressive policies and unchecked government authority.

Source: ABC

8 thoughts on “Criminalizing Art: Two Prominent Art Curators Face Three Years in Jail for Offending Orthodox Church”

  1. Freedom exist only in the eExistentialists mind. The again, you have to wonder where they misplaced theres….

  2. Maybe they are prosecuting the curators because they can’t find the artists or the artists are unknown.

    It’s mindboggling to me that all of this religious stuff just pops up after so many years of represssion. If you told me 20 years ago that the last Tsar and his kin would be Orthodox saints, I would have thought you were crazy. Now I hear that the monasteries and convents are turning away candidates.

    Unfortunately for Russia, they never had and probably never will, have any form of free speech.

  3. This is almost off topic. A few weeks ago I recall reading about a Firefox plugin by Greg Leuch called “Shaved Bieber” that blocks you from seeing Justin Beiber on the Internet. To whit, it’s a specialized filter designed to keep you as an adult from being flooded by the tons of crap targeting 13 year old girls.

    It seems now they have come out with “GodBlock”, which – you guessed it – blocks out religious references on the Internet. The stated purpose of this tool is “{GodBlock] is targeted at parents and schools who wish to protect their kids from the often violent, sexual and psychologically harmful material in many holy texts, and from being indoctrinated into any religion before they are of the age to make such decisions.” I saw no mention of whether Leuch was involved with GodBlock or not.

    Bravo. Score one for the code monkeys and doing something that actually allows parents to protect their kids all while securing their right to freedom of religion and encouraging the responsibilities such a freedom has associated with it.

    The rest of this story is at (which has a link to the plugin’s site if you are interested).

    They also make “Ex-Blocker” which does exactly what it sounds like. But I’ll be having none of that. I need to keep dibs on Satan.

  4. This is all about ultra-rightist Russian nationalism, It is part of Putin’s program. The authority of the Orthodox church is not to be openly questioned or mocked, just as in the good old days of the autocratic czars.

    This definitely ain’t about the rule of law or due process or anything like that. It’s about crushing dissent.

  5. I’m still trying to understand why the blockheaded prosecutors went after curators and not the artists. An artist makes a statement. A curator picks out pictures and keeps inventory. The artist’s speech is “the issue”, although it’s a false issue. So the brilliant Russian legal system tries to kill the messenger, not the speaker of the message.

    Pure genius.

    The curators could have picked the Mickey Mouse painting simply because they (or their kids) like Mickey Mouse. While Lenin may have been . . . Lenin, even he wouldn’t have been offended by the irony of Jesus depicted on the warriors medal that bears his name. Jesus would have certainly found it ironically funny. Now I can see that humorless prick Stalin being upset by that kind of treatment, but Lenin? Come on! He was a founding member of The Beatles! (“The Beatles?”, “Don’t stop him. He’s on a roll.”)

    And speaking of humorless, I’d like to thank the Russians for proving that “Humorless people suck” is a universal truism.

  6. AH! And another crackpot religiously insane group joins the race! They must have been afraid they were being out done by the Muslims, Hindus & various Christian sects that are lurching toward theocracy.

    And, since each of these religions are based on peace-loving principles you know the world will be a much better place once the succeed.

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