According to a museum director at the Muzei Vlasti (Museum of Authorities), an artist whose work depicts Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev sporting women’s undergarments whilst brushing each other’s hair has fled the country and is apparently seeking asylum in France.
The painting Travesty is just one of the works by artist Konstantin Altunin that was being shown at the Muzei Vlasti. That is, until this painting along with several other paintings from the exhibition were confiscated by police from for containing “extremist propaganda.”
Russia has implemented a series of censorship laws, aimed specifically at persecuting LGBT and suppressing free speech. Any mention of the existence and normalcy of LGBT or any publicly expressed gay or pro-gay sentiment is punishable by arrest, fine, jail time and, often, police beating.
In total, four paintings satirizing Russian politicians were seized by authorities, subsequently shutting down the exhibition in its entirety.
This situation seems all too familiar, reminding us of another incident in which Russian performance art group Pussy Riot is still being wrongfully punished for, over a year later.