Russian Wagner director faces Pussy Riot charge

A production of Tannhäuser in Novosibirsk has drawn a complaint from the Russian Orthodox church and a police charge of offending religious sensibilities against the director, Timofei Kulyabin.

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He is accused of public ‘desecration of the object of religious worship in Christianity – the image of Jesus Christ in the Gospels’. The show opened in December and Novosibirsk Opera will revive it next month. Metropolitan Tikhon, head of the Orthodox church in the region, compared the offence it caused to the Charlie Hebdo cartoons in France. Kulyabin, 30, an award-winning director, calls his complaint ‘absurd.’

He could face a heavy fine, or jail, if found guilty of blasphemy.

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