The polarizing Russian artist Pyotr Pavlensky has been charged with property damage after setting fire to the Banque de France building in Paris.
On Wednesday, the 33-year-old performance artist, who was granted political asylum in France, appeared before a Paris judge alongside his wife and partner, Oksana Shalygina. Both were charged with causing property damage that endangered the lives of others, according to the New York Times.
In recent years, Pavlensky has become infamous for a number of highly publicized stunts, some involving acts of self-mutilation. The artist sowed his own lips shut when two members of feminist punk collective Pussy Riot were jailed in 2012. And, in 2013, he nailed his scrotum to the Red Square to protest Russian police.
Pavlensky’s latest performance quickly went viral after the incident occurred on Monday. Pictures of the artist standing sternly in front of Banque de France as it went up in flames circulated on social media. The photograph echoed similar images from November 2015, showing Pavlensky standing before the burning door to Russia’s Federal Security Service in Moscow, after he lit it on fire. Read more