A Russian artist who painted an image of Vladimir Putin in lingerie brushing the hair of a female underwear clad Dmitry Medvedev has had his work seized and has fled the country, saying he fears for his safety.
Russian police also removed images that made fun of the head of the Russian Orthodox Church and two other anti-gay Russian politicians and closed the “Museum of Authorities” gallery in St. Petersburg that was located in a converted apartment.
Konstantin Altunin told Radio Free Europe that he does not want to return to Russia:
“Today, I appealed to the French prefecture in Paris because I have no other option. I would gladly get local residence and work permits so that I can be useful to France and to work and pay taxes,” he said. “But now, I am forced to request political asylum because I fled very quickly without luggage or money.”
The controversial art exhibition would likely have gotten a hefty grant in the United States if it had been about former Pres. George W. Bush.