Russian Protestor – level 3

23-10-2017 15:00

A Russian political performance artist set fire to a branch of France’s central bank in Paris. After pouring petrol on the building’s two windows and setting the building ablaze, he calmly stood in front of its main entrance, and did not pay attention to the police who were shouting at him. Eventually, they tackled him to the ground and arrested him.

In Russia, Pyotr Pavlensky is known for his outlandish political performances. In July 2012, he sewed up his lips to protest the arrest of feminist punk-rock group Pussy Riot. Then he wrapped himself up naked in a barbed wire cocoon in front of the legislative assembly in St Petersburg. He later made headlines in 2013 after he nailed his genitals to the cobbles of Moscow’s Red Square.

Police also jailed him for six months in his homeland when he set fire to the façade of a government building, and then he fled to France after the country granted him political asylum.

The bank in Paris suffered only minor damage to its exterior and it was closed for the day.

Difficult words: ablaze (on fire), tackle (knock down), outlandish (unusual), cobble (a small round stone used to cover road surfaces), façade (the outside of a building), minor (small).

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