Several sculptures by the renowned Soviet artist Vadim Sidur have been smashed in the center of Moscow by fanatic Orthodox activist who deemed the artworks “blasphemous.”
“Delusional people came to the exhibition who broke several works belonging to the Manege collection, by Vadim Sidur,” Yelena Karneyeva, spokesperson for the Manege Museum, which is adjacent to the Kremlin and the Red Square, told AFP.
The Orthodox activist Dmitry Enteo, head of the conservative God’s Will group, confirmed that he was at the Manege. “We called the police,” he said. “They will close the exhibition for offending believers.”
Enteo, who attempted to stop a gay pride rally in Moscow this year, told Interfax news agency that 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,” opened last Friday, and 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, told RIA Novosti news agency there should be a “legal assessment” of the attack, but added that believers “undoubtedly have the right to protest.”
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