Verzilov treason case behind search at Moscow’s Garage museum

A search carried out at the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow on Friday was related to an ongoing case against artist and Kremlin critic Pyotr Verzilov, the museum’s press service told business daily Kommersant on Saturday.

Verzilov, a Pussy Riot member who left Russia in 2020 after his home was searched, has been on Russia’s register of “foreign agents” since 2021.

In October, Verzilov resigned from his position as publisher at independent news outlet Mediazona after giving an interview in which he said that he had joined the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

In March, a Moscow court overturned Verzilov’s conviction for spreading false information about the Russian military on a technicality. He was retried in absentia, and given a sentence two months shorter than the one he received from the same court in November.

Several Russian artists and activists had their homes searched by law enforcement the day after the original verdict was quashed. Some were interrogated about their connections to Verzilov, and said the searches were connected to the separate treason charges he now faced.

Garage was founded by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich and his then-wife, art collector Dasha Zhukova, in 2008. Shortly after Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, the museum said it would suspend its exhibition programme until “the human and political tragedy unfolding in Ukraine ends”.

Editor in chief — Kirill Martynov. Terms of use. Privacy policy.