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Assailants Destroy Moscow Art Exhibit

Marat Gelman being interviewed by RFE/RL in Moscow on July 25 (RFE/RL) October 22, 2006 -- Assailants have destroyed an exhibit of paintings and drawings at a modern art gallery in the Russian capital, Moscow.

The works destroyed at the Marat Gelman Gallery on October 21 included an exhibit by ethnic-Georgian artist Aleksander Dzikhia.

Gallery staff said a group of young men in masks carried out the ransacking, tearing artworks off the walls and smashing them, and also destroying computers, phones, and other equipment, before leaving.

The motive for the attack was not immediately known.

Gallery owner Marat Gelman is well-known Russian political consultant with close ties to the Kremlin. He has a reputation for carrying out outlandish political actions.

(AFP, Reuters)

Russia And Georgia

Russia And Georgia
Beefed up security outside Russian military headquarters in Tbilisi on September 27 (InterPressNews)

NOT ALL WINE AND ROSES. Moscow's relations with Tbilisi since the collapse of the Soviet Union have often been tense and strained. Among the issues that have made the relationship difficult are Moscow's alleged support for the breakaway Georgia regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, as well as the continued presence of Russia troops on Georgian territory. Periodically, Georgian lawmakers propose withdrawing from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) altogether. RFE/RL has written extensively about the rocky relationship between these two countries.


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RFE/RL's complete coverage of Georgia and Russia.