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Arrested Russian Artist Pyotr Pavlensky Rejects Court’s Attempt to Close Criminal Case

Performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky is refusing to agree to the closure of a criminal case against him, reports the Moscow Times. Because too much time has elapsed, according to the St. Petersburg City Court, the case is now scheduled to close. But the infamous artist, who was arrested after setting fire to a former KGB building in Moscow on the grounds that he was addressing “urgent problems of Russian society,” is calling on the court to carry on.

“I spoke with my client before the meeting, he was against the closure of the case. We have witnesses, they need to be questioned,” said the defendant’s attorney Dmitry Dinze.

The performance artist is known for headline-grabbing protest-based pieces involving self-mutilation: He has previously nailed his scrotum to the cobblestones of Moscow’s Red Square, and has cut off a piece of his earlobe to protest the forced psychiatric treatment of dissidents, as artforum.com previously reported here.

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