Russian art radicals vow to destroy state property in revenge for arrest

The controversial Russian art collective Voina (War) said it would destroy state property worth three million rubles (over $100,000) to “fine” the government for putting one of the group’s leaders on an international wanted list.

Group leader Oleg Vorotnikov was released on a 300,000-ruble ($10,000) bail in March after nearly four months awaiting trial for an audacious protest called Palace Revolution, in which the group flipped over a police car to protest against corruption. He was charged with hooliganism and faces up to five years in prison.

After another criminal case was launched against Vorotnikov on suspicion of attacking police during an unsanctioned rally in St. Petersburg on March 31, the judge ruled that Vorotnikov’s bail was forfeited. The art group leader was arrested in absentia and put on the international wanted list.

Vorotnikov said the state “misappropriated” his bail money, and will have to face sanctions, “because there should be harmony.”

“In fact, I spent my own money to sit in prison,” the artist said.

Voina is notorious for a number of events, including holding an orgy in a Moscow museum to mark the 2008 inauguration of President Dmitry Medvedev and painting a 65-meter phallus on a drawbridge opposite the St. Petersburg headquarters of the Federal Security Service. The group won a state prize for contemporary art in April for A Cock Captured by the FSB.

Leave a comment