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Pussy Riot Art Exhibit At Gelman Gallery Disrupted By Russian Orthodox Christian Activists

Pussy Riot

09/20/12 02:11 PM ET  AP

MOSCOW -- A protest by about 15 Russian Orthodox Christian activists has disrupted the opening of a Moscow art exhibit inspired by the jailed members of the punk band Pussy Riot.

The activists, some dressed in Cossack uniforms, tried to block the entrance to the Gelman Gallery. Riot police dispersed the protesters, detaining nine of them, but then blocked off the area, making it difficult for those who wanted to attend Thursday's opening to get inside.

The paintings by Yevgenia Maltseva were inspired by religious icons and the three Pussy Riot members who were jailed for a raucous performance inside a Moscow cathedral to protest Vladimir Putin's rule and his close relationship with the church hierarchy.

Their imprisonment has highlighted Putin's crackdown on dissent since returning to the presidency in May.

See a couple of images of the protesters here:
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  • Pussy Riot Art Show Blocked

    Russian artist Yevgenia Maltseva speaks at the opening of her exhibition in the Vinzavod art gallery in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012. A protest by about 15 Russian Orthodox Christian activists has disrupted the opening of a Moscow art exhibit inspired by the jailed members of the punk band Pussy Riot. Riot police dispersed the protesters, detaining nine of them, but then blocked off the area, making it difficult for those who wanted to attend Thursday's opening to get inside. The paintings by Yevgenia Maltseva were inspired by religious icons and the three Pussy Riot members who were jailed for a raucous performance inside a Moscow cathedral to protest Vladimir Putin's rule and his close relationship with the church hierarchy. (Alexander Zemlianichenko, AP)

  • Pussy Riot Art Show Blocked

    Cossacks block the entrance as they protest in front of Winzavod art gallery during the opening of the 'Spiritual abuse' painting exhibition by the artist Evgenia Maltseva in Moscow on September 20, 2012. (Andrey Smirnov, Getty Images)

  • Pussy Riot Art Show Blocked

    A visitor stands in front of paintings by Yevgenia Maltseva at the opening of her exhibition in the Vinzavod art gallery in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012. A protest by about 15 Russian Orthodox Christian activists has disrupted the opening of a Moscow art exhibit inspired by the jailed members of the punk band Pussy Riot. Riot police dispersed the protesters, detaining nine of them, but then blocked off the area, making it difficult for those who wanted to attend Thursday's opening to get inside. The paintings by Yevgenia Maltseva were inspired by religious icons and the three Pussy Riot members who were jailed for a raucous performance inside a Moscow cathedral to protest Vladimir Putin's rule and his close relationship with the church hierarchy. (Alexander Zemlianichenko, AP)

  • Pussy Riot Art Show Blocked

    Men dressed in Cossack uniforms stand outside the Vinzavod art gallery as they try to block the entrance at the opening of an exhibition in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012. A protest by about 15 Russian Orthodox Christian activists has disrupted the opening of a Moscow art exhibit inspired by the jailed members of the punk band Pussy Riot. Riot police dispersed the protesters, detaining nine of them, but then blocked off the area, making it difficult for those who wanted to attend Thursday's opening to get inside. The paintings by Yevgenia Maltseva were inspired by religious icons and the three Pussy Riot members who were jailed for a raucous performance inside a Moscow cathedral to protest Vladimir Putin's rule and his close relationship with the church hierarchy. (Alexander Zemlianichenko, AP)

  • Pussy Riot Art Show Blocked

    Visitors take photos of paintings by Yevgenia Maltseva at the opening of her exhibition in the Vinzavod art gallery in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012. A protest by about 15 Russian Orthodox Christian activists has disrupted the opening of a Moscow art exhibit inspired by the jailed members of the punk band Pussy Riot. Riot police dispersed the protesters, detaining nine of them, but then blocked off the area, making it difficult for those who wanted to attend Thursday's opening to get inside. The paintings by Yevgenia Maltseva were inspired by religious icons and the three Pussy Riot members who were jailed for a raucous performance inside a Moscow cathedral to protest Vladimir Putin's rule and his close relationship with the church hierarchy. (Alexander Zemlianichenko, AP)

  • Pussy Riot Art Show Blocked

    Members of the Eurasia's youth union political organization and Cossacks block the entrance as they protest in front of Winzavod art gallery during the opening of the 'Spiritual abuse' painting exhibition by the artist Evgenia Maltseva in Moscow on September 20, 2012. (Andrey Smirnov, Getty Images)

  • Pussy Riot Art Show Blocked

    Police officers detain an ultra Orthodox activist outside the Vinzavod art gallery in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012. A protest by about 15 Russian Orthodox Christian activists has disrupted the opening of a Moscow art exhibit inspired by the jailed members of the punk band Pussy Riot. Riot police dispersed the protesters, detaining nine of them, but then blocked off the area, making it difficult for those who wanted to attend Thursday's opening to get inside. The paintings by Yevgenia Maltseva were inspired by religious icons and the three Pussy Riot members who were jailed for a raucous performance inside a Moscow cathedral to protest Vladimir Putin's rule and his close relationship with the church hierarchy. (Alexander Zemlianichenko, AP)

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Filed by Kathleen Massara  |