PARIS, January 11. /TASS/. A court in Paris found a controversial Russian artist, Pyotr Pavlensky, guilty of setting on fire a Banque de France office in Paris in October 2017, but permitted him to walk free on Thursday, the France Info radio reported.

Pavlensky was sentenced to one year in prison and two years of suspended sentence. As the artist had already spent 11 months in pretrial detention, he was allowed to walk free.

As part of the same case, Pavlensky’s wife Oksana Shalygina was sentenced to two years in prison, of which 16 months are to be served as a suspended sentence. She has already spent three months in pretrial detention and was also released, but will have to wear an electronic bracelet for five months.

Pavlensky and Shalygina were also sentenced to pay 18,678 euro as a compensation for material damage and 3,000 euro for moral damage.

During the trial, Pavlensky said he would “under no circumstances” pay the fine, adding that the location of the bank’s office at France’s iconic Place de la Bastille was “a heinous mockery of France’s political history.”

Prosecutors requested Pavlensky be sentenced to a four-year prison sentence (including 18 months of suspended sentence) and be deprived of civic and parental rights.

“They demonstrated little gratitude to the country that accepted them. They attacked not only its political institutions, but its cultural heritage as well,” the prosecutor said in court.

Pavlensky, together with his partner and two children, moved to France from Russia after receiving political asylum in May 2017.

Tje artist became controversially famous in Russia after several performances – in October 2014, the nude artist cut his earlobe on the roof of the Serbsky psychiatry center in Moscow, in November 2013 he undressed on the Red Square and nailed himself to the paving stones next to the Mausoleum, and in the summer of 2012 sewn his mouth and went to the Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg with a poster supporting Pussy Riot group.

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