Russian Curators Convicted Today of Inciting Religious Hatred, but Not Imprisoned


MOSCOW (AP).- 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. 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. The curators were convicted for their 2007 exhibit entitled “Forbidden Art” at the Sakharov Museum, a human rights center named after celebrated dissident physicist and Nobel peace prize laureate Andrei Sakharov. The two could have been sentenced to up to three years in prison, but were ordered only to pay fines of up to 200,000 rubles ($6,500). Artis