Russian Orthodox Extremists Destroy Russian Avante Garde Art In The Hermitage

1280px-Spb_06-2012_Palace_Embankment_various_14While the world has followed the appalling destruction of art by ISIS and Muslim extremists, it is easy to forget that such religious extremism is not limited to Islam. We saw such an example recently in Israel. Another such case has emerged in Russia where Russian Orthodox activists destroyed Soviet avant-garde art deemed insulting to their religion. The attack led the head of the Hermitage Museum Mikhail Piotrovsky to denounce the attack as further evidence of a “sick” Russian society and the rise of “marginal forces against cultural rights” in the country.


The exhibit is called “Sculptures that We Don’t See” and the vandals targeted works by Soviet sculptor Vadim Sidur, whose nonconformist works were censored by Soviet authorities.

The attack is attributed to the group God’s Will, led by radical Russian Orthodox activist Dmitry Tsorionov known as “Enteo.” He has declared that Putin is a gift from God and that Russians are “unworthy” of him. Tsorionov denounced the exhibit as containing an “indecent” depiction of Jesus Christ and a “dirty, harsh mockery of Jesus Christ and the saints.”

Many of us could not escape the irony of watching Putin at the Olympics in Moscow honor past Russian writers, some of which were banned and abused by the Russian government. As a KGB colonel, Putin worked for the agency that abused artists and writers during the Soviet period.

A video posted on YouTube shows a female activist together with Tsorionov tearing Sidur’s linoleum engraving of a naked Jesus Christ from its platform and stomping on it. He also smashed a plate holding one of the cloth heads that comprises a work by Megasoma Mars called “Beheading of St. John the Baptist #2.”

The violence has rekindled criticism of Putin who has risen to power in a coalition with conservative religious elements in the Orthodox Church.

28 thoughts on “Russian Orthodox Extremists Destroy Russian Avante Garde Art In The Hermitage”

  1. No matter what you think or believe you have seen on a film, there are laws in this country that determine who has the legal responsibility to enforce legally-passed laws.

    Zealots — religious or not — have no legal right to take it upon themselves to “enforce” laws that they believe SHOULD be on the books; such behavior is vigilantism.

    Vigilantes who bomb and kill — no matter how worthy (or not) their motives — are terrorists and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

    1. Anna wrote: “… there are laws in this country that determine who has the legal responsibility to enforce legally-passed laws.”

      The problem is that a law was created by the high court that legalizes murder.

      The ideology that has led to killing abortion doctors is not based upon religion, but rather it is based upon the ideology of justifiable homicide. Our laws state that a homicide may be considered justified if it is done to prevent a murder. In order to prevent the additional slaughter of unborn children, they reason that it is justifiable to kill the abortionist. The conflict is that our laws no longer recognize the killing of unborn children as murder.

  2. There is a whole volunteer “army” out there, in America, willing and eager to force or inflict their religious values and beliefs on others.

    Think of the abortion doctors killed, here in America, by people who claimed to be doing the killing because of their religious beliefs.

    Think of the abortion clinics and women’s health clinics that have been bombed, here in America, by people who claimed to be doing the bombing because of their religious beliefs.

    Religious fanaticism is not limited to just the zealots and/or terrorists in other countries; we have religious zealots and/or terrorists here in America as well.

    And, they have caused deaths.

    1. Anna – you clearly did not see the last abortion film that was dropped. In this one the baby is born alive and then has it’s brain removed. Do you think that is murder? Plus, desecration of a corpse?

  3. The point is that some people use their available power — whether it be governmental power (Giuliani) or physical power (terrorists) — to inflict or force their religious beliefs onto others.

  4. LOL! For a liberal, cutting off funding is tantamount to cutting off a head. If you read critically, you get nuggets of how these folks actually think, and it’s frightening! Anna just gave us a short trip into her mindset.

  5. bad move by the Orthodox – they should have called the art “racist” or “anti-Semitic” before they destroyed it. You never would have heard a peep from anyone.

  6. Davedm2575

    Ras taught me that the way to take over someone’s soul was to spell their name wrong. It gives you a sort of ownership. It is like saying, “That’s how I spell it, have you ever considered changing how you spell your name?”

  7. Paul

    Well, I learned a long time ago how to sleep standing up, and with eyes open. Ras taught me that. He served him well at functions. The guests thought he was pensive and both there and other places at the same time, but he was just nodding off. Some of them caught on, however, and waxed him one night. He’s not bitter though. And, he’s not OK with the new church’s positions on Putin and modern art. He thinks Putin is a loose cannon and shrinks when he sees him topless, just not done.

  8. davidm2575

    I liked St. Issac’s better when it was a museum. Ras and I would sneak over from the Hermitage and mess with the pendulum.

    1. issac wrote: “I liked St. Issac’s better when it was a museum.”

      Why do you always misspell Isaac? It is annoying. 🙂

  9. Paul

    Ya walk in backwards like you’re walking out, about closing time, hide in a closet, play with the ghosts, after dark.

    1. issac – yes, but is there anyplace any soft to sleep? Playing with the ghosts does sound fun though. 😉

  10. That’s the Hermitage. At least that’s where I stay when I’m in St. Petersburg.

    1. issac – I’ve not visited the Hermitage, but it is on my bucket list. However, since it is now a museum, how do you stay there?

    2. issac wrote: “That’s the Hermitage. At least that’s where I stay when I’m in St. Petersburg.”

      I have visited the Hermitage too. Magnificent palace and museum. But you stay there? I stay at the W in St. Petersburg, across the street from your namesake: St. Isaac’s Cathedral.

  11. I’m a little confused. This article mentions the Hermitage and shows a picture of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, but other reports I have read says that this took place in Moscow, at the Moscow Manege. Which is right?

  12. “The bill that criminalized offending religious believers was signed into law by President Vladimir Putin in 2013, a year after members of the Pussy Riot female protest group staged an anti-Putin performance protest in Moscow’s Christ the Savior cathedral. Three members of the band were sentenced to two years in prison for “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred.”
    The text of the law on offending religious sentiment, which carries up to a year in prison, does not clearly specify what qualifies as an offense and what doesn’t.

    See?
    It’s like here, where you cannot offend gay marriage or it’s a hate crime.
    Sounds as wise and good as our rules.

  13. If it was Soviet art he was probably right. He probably saved them some room in the basement.

  14. There is “generate art” and “degenerate art”. Art is just part of artFay talk. Degenerate artFay talk is when one cannot discern any language and just hears noises which sound like artFays. Tammy Fay was one such person who created degenerate art. Art Winkler created generate art. It is kind of like one of those “flagged emails” which we might classify as “classified” or “degenerate”. The English language can be difficult to ascertain. Putin is a fruiten and all that.

  15. Fanatics no matter what their religion are hazardous to humans. Putin is happy to have the Orthodox Church an lit him the new Czar and the Church is happy to pick up those nice gifts that Putin is willing to give it. I would just remind the Church…when you sup with the devil you should use a long spoon. Next week you may be the hunted.

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