Pyotr Pavlensky arrested over latest artistic arson in Paris

16 October 2017

Russian artist Pyotr Pavlensky, who has recently received asylum in France, was arrested early Monday morning after setting fire to the doors of the Bank of France.

In a statement made to Divergence Images Pavlensky explained that “bankers have taken the place of the monarchs” and called for a great French revolution.

The latest act of arson is reminiscent of Pavlensky’s 2015 artistic action titled Menace, in which he set fire to the doors of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) in Moscow. At the time Pavlensky himself asked to be charged with terrorism in solidarity with Ukrainian director Oleg Sentsov, jailed earlier that year for terrorism for similar actions. Pavlensky, however, was charged with vandalism; the charges were later changed to “damaging a cultural heritage site” and he was fined and released.

Pavlensky left Russia for France in early 2017 after he was accused of sexual assault.