Pavlensky could receive a sentence of up to three years in jail—the same as the maximum sentence under the old charges. The work, entitled Threat. Lubyanka’s Burning Door, took place in November of last year and saw the artist setting fire to the door of Russia’s Federal Security Bureau (an organization that serves as the successor to the KGB). Referencing the case of Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov, who was charged with terrorism in 2014 for organizing arson attacks on pro-Kremlin party offices in Crimea, Pavlensky has demanded that he be tried for terrorism instead. This news comes a month after organizers of the country’s most prestigious art award rejected Pavlensky’s nomination for Threat, leading to the resignation of several selection committee members and the cancellation of the 2016 prize itself.
—Abigail Cain, Alexander Forbes, Casey Lesser, Isaac Kaplan, and Tess Thackara
Cover image: Ruins of Palmyra’s Temple of Bel in 2010, before its destruction by ISIS. Photo by Bernard Gagnon, via Wikimedia Commons.