Curator quizzed over 'Forbidden' exhibit

May 21, 2008 at 9:15 PM

MOSCOW, May 21 (UPI) -- Prosecutors have summoned a curator at Moscow's Tretyakov Gallery for questioning about a 2007 exhibit criticized for inciting religious hatred.

Andrei Yerofeyev, head of the gallery's contemporary art department, has been ordered to appear before the Tagansky District Prosecutor's Office to answer questions regarding his role as curator of the "Forbidden Art" exhibit, The Moscow Times reported Wednesday.

"Forbidden Art" featured paintings and other works banned at various exhibits in Russia last year. Included in the exhibit are paintings of Jesus Christ with Mickey Mouse's head and a crucified Vladimir Ilyich Lenin.

Prosecutors began their investigation into the exhibit after Russian Orthodox leaders complained when it was shown at the Sakharov Museum, the Times said.

Yury Samodurov, director of the Sakharov, was charged last week with inciting religious hatred in connection with the exhibit. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison.

Yerofeyev, however, said he was confident the event was protected by the Constitution.

"What you have to understand is that it's just another act of deception by the authorities," he told the Times.

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