Russian curators sentenced but not imprisoned

Two Russian curators who angered the Russian Orthodox Church with an exhibition that included images of Jesus Christ portrayed as Mickey Mouse and Vladimir Lenin were convicted Monday of inciting religious hatred and fined, but escaped prison sentences.

The case of Yuri Samodurov and Andrei Yerofeyev has been closely watched by human rights activists, says the Associated Press. The decision by a Moscow court could sidestep the possibility of an international outcry over imprisoning the two respected art-world figures, but is unlikely to stem concerns about the growing influence of the church and the specter of Soviet-style censorship returning.

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This post was last updated: Jul. 12, 2010