Pavlensky: Russia's Performance Artist Provocateur

Trend Photo Agency / Reuters
Artist Pyotr Pavlensky, a supporter of jailed members of female punk band "Pussy Riot", looks on with his mouth sewed up as he protests outside the Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg, July 23, 2012.

A Moscow court on Wednesday freed radical performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky, who has been in jail since he set fire to the headquarters of the country's security services last year.

The court fined Pavlensky 500,000 rubles ($7,750) for damaging a cultural site and ordered him to pay 481,000 rubles to compensate the cost of repairs to the building, Pavlensky was on trial for a performance called “Threat. The Burning Door of Lubyanka.” In the performance, carried out in the middle of the night in November last year, he poured gasoline on the wooden doors of the Federal Security Service building on Lubyanka Square in central Moscow. He then lit them on fire and posed in front of the flames for photographs, dressed in a hooded jacket and holding a gas canister.

Read more: Russian Court Frees Radical Artist Pyotr Pavlensky