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Pro-Church Activists 'Attack' Erotic Art Museum, Director Says

Two pro-church activists, right and center, who barged into the Museum of Erotic Art late Tuesday, one of them holding what appears to be a Bible. Alexander Donskoi / Facebook

The director of Moscow's Museum of Erotic Art said "Orthodox militants" stormed the museum late Tuesday, causing the receptionist to flee out of fear for her life.

Alexander Donskoi, who Interfax identified as the director of the museum, said in a message on his Facebook page that the activists "attacked" the museum holding a brick. Donskoi did not specify what, if anything, the activists did or said while inside the museum.

A photo of the activists posted on Facebook by Donskoi shows two men who appeared in a widely circulated YouTube video in which pro-church activists rebuke a diner at a Mu-mu cafe for wearing a T-shirt expressing support for female punk group Pussy Riot.

Security camera footage of the incident also posted on Facebook by Donskoi shows what appears to be a camera crew accompanying the activists. On Monday, pro-church activists with a crew from state-controlled NTV disrupted a theater event about Pussy Riot at Teater.doc.

Donskoi called the incident at his museum extremism and linked it to his support for Pussy Riot, three of whose members were sentenced to two years in prison earlier this month for performing a song deriding President Vladimir Putin at Christ the Savior Cathedral.

"Today Orthodox militants punish us for supporting Pussy Riot, threatening our lives and tearing clothes off simple passersby, and tomorrow they'll go raid churches of other confessions and stab atheists. It is pure extremism," Donskoi wrote on his Facebook page.

He also called on law enforcement authorities to stop the actions of the "loathsome ... movement of Orthodox militants."

Donskoi is a former mayor of the northern city of Arkhangelsk, according to Interfax. Earlier this year, he announced the creation of his Party of Love by holding a demonstration in support of Pussy Riot in which party activists swam in a fountain at the GUM shopping center next to Red Square, the news agency said.

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