Radical Artist Petr Pavlensky Arrested for Setting a Paris Bank on Fire


Russian artist Petr Pavlensky is back at it again.

As the flames licked the front of the Bank of France in the early hours of October 16 in Paris’ Place de la Bastille, performance artist Pavlensky stood in front of the burning doors in a defiant stance, with his assumed leather and/or velcro backpacker sandals only slightly lessening the impressive image.

Petr Pavlensky lights up Banque de France on October 16.

Pavlensky is known for his radical protest art, which in the past have included sewing his mouth shut to protest the incarceration of members of Pussy Riot, wrapping himself naked in barbed wire in front of the Legislative Assembly of St Petersburg in protest of Russia’s repressive government policies, and last but by no means least, nailing his balls to the floor in Moscow’s Red Square.

A ballsy move in Lenin’s Red Square

Pavlensky was detained by French police soon after setting the bank doors alight, which makes it the second time he has been charged for doing so. He went to jail for six months in 2015-2016 for burning the doors of the federal security agency in Moscow. Pavlesnky sought asylum in France this year after being accused of rape in his home country of Russia, which he denies.

Protesting the incarceration of Russian punk band Pussy Riot

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