MOSCOW, May 19 (RAPSI, Oleg Sivozhelezov) – A St. Petersburg magistrate has exempted Russian performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky, earlier found guilty of deliberate vandalism, from punishment, RAPSI reports from the Moscow Preobrazhensky Court, where the verdict was announced to the defendant during a magistrates court visiting session.
Earlier Pavlensky was found guilty of vandalism for his controversial performance in February 2015, when Pavlensky and his accomplices burned car tires, waved Ukrainian flags and banged sheet metal with sticks in a show of solidarity with the anti-government protesters in Ukraine. The performance was held near the Church of the Savior on Blood in St. Petersburg.
The judge sentenced Pavlensky to a year and four months of freedom restriction, but exempted him from punishment because the statute of limitation in this case has expired. The artist is not facing punishment for setting tires on fire on a St. Petersburg bridge.
Pavlensky is not to be set free in the courtroom because he is also a defendant in another criminal case over setting fire to the Moscow headquarters of the Federal Security Service (FSB).
Pavlensky is known for a number of other controversial performances.
In July 2012, he sewed up his mouth and stood at the Kazan Cathedral with a poster in support of Pussy Riot.
In May 2013, Pavlensky lay down on the ground in front of the St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly naked with barbed wire around his body.
In November 2013, also naked, Pavlensky nailed his scrotum to the Red Square pavement near the Lenin Mausoleum.
In October 2014, he staged an eccentric stunt on the roof of the Serbsky Mental Institution in Moscow by cutting off one of his earlobes.
In November 2015, Pavlensky was arrested on suspicion of setting fire to the headquarters of FSB in Moscow. Several other people who claim to be journalists that were invited to the artist’s performance were arrested along with the artist.