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Russian Artist Pavlensky Charged With Damaging Cultural Heritage Site

Criminal charges against performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky — who set fire to the entryway of the Federal Security Service — have been reclassified from “vandalism” to “damaging a cultural heritage site,” the Interfax news agency reported Tuesday.

Pavlensky's lawyer Dmitry Dinze told Interfax that Pavlensky, during a court hearing on Tuesday, said that the changes had been made “recently.”

Under the new charges, Pavlensky may face up to six years in prison, while the maximum incarceration for “vandalism” under Russia's Criminal Code is only three.

Pavlensky was arrested after he set fire to the main entrance of FSB headquarters on Moscow's Lubyanskaya Ploshchad on Nov. 9, 2015. The artist said the action was a protest against repressive government policies.

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