Moscow Curators Face 3 Years in Prison for 2007 Exhibition

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MOSCOW (AP).- One painting depicted Jesus Christ as Mickey Mouse, another as Vladimir Lenin. The 2007 exhibit was part of an effort to fight censorship of the arts, but the Russian Orthodox Church was horrified. Now, after a 14-month trial, the two prominent Moscow art curators who put on the show are facing the prospect of three years in prison. Artists and rights activists have appealed to the Kremlin to put a stop to the prosecution of Yury Samodurov and Andrei Yerofeyev, warning of a return to Soviet-era cultural censorship with the rules now dictated by a conservative and politically powerful church. Even Russia’s culture minister says the two men did nothing to break the law against inciting religious hatred. But the prosecutors refuse to back down and have demanded a three-year prison sentence when the judge makes her ruling on July 12. The exhibit “Forbidden Art” at the Sakharov Museum, a human rights center named after celebrated dissident physicist Andrei