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Russian artist arrested after symbolic dirty protest near memorial

People warm themselves up near the eternal flame at the Mars Field in St.Petersburg, Russia, Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. The temperature in St. Petersburg is -15C
People warm themselves up near the eternal flame at the Mars Field in St.Petersburg, Russia, Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. The temperature in St. Petersburg is -15C Copyright Dmitri Lovetsky/AP
Copyright Dmitri Lovetsky/AP
By Euronews with AFP
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According to a contemporary art gallery in Moscow, the chilly log is a protest about the council being slow to clear snow.

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A Russian painter has been arrested for creating an installation in the shape of giant excrement near a memorial in the center of Saint Petersburg, police announced on Monday.

A resident of Moscow, born in 1992, was "arrested (...) on suspicion of desecration in Saint Petersburg", a spokesman for the local police told AFP.

"An investigation for insulting the dead and the burial places has been opened," he said.

Such an offence is punishable in Russia by five years in prison.

According to contemporary art gallery '11.12' in Moscow, the artist behind this dirty protest is Ivan Volkov. And they claim he is affiliated with their gallery.

"The artist created an installation of snow in the form of giant faeces, ironically about the fact that this year municipal services in the city did not remove snow well, which residents of the city repeatedly complained about," the gallery wrote on Instagram.

Last week the artist created a five-metre-long snow sculpture, painted it brown and created a yellow emanation around it in Mars Field, a famous central square in Saint-Petersburg, notably home to an eternal flame commemorating the victims of the Russian Revolution of 1917.

In December, a 19-year-old Russian blogger was sentenced in Moscow to four years in prison for "insulting the memory" of a World War II veteran, after urinating on the portrait of one of them.

In power in Russia for more than 20 years, Vladimir Putin has made patriotic values ​​a priority of his presidency, the desecration of memorial tombs and the insult to veterans being met with severe punishment.

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