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In 2010, two prominent Moscow art curators who organized an exhibition titled “Caution: Religion!” were convicted of inciting religious hatred and fined. The 2003 show, which displayed an icon with Jesus Christ’s face replaced by a road sign and a photo of a crucified naked woman with the icon of Virgin Mary placed between her thighs, was closed after a raid by a group of Orthodox activists.

Another exhibition was closed in 2007 after a group of altar boys defaced many of the contemporary paintings _ including one of Jesus as Mickey Mouse during the Sermon on the Mount. A Russian court banned the picture in 2011 as “extremist.”

Three members of the Pussy Riot band were sentenced to two years in jail after a February prank at Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral _ following a trial that drew international condemnation and was followed by a massive campaign on Kremlin-friendly television networks that portrayed the feminist punk rockers as “offenders of faith.”

The organizer of the new Manezh exhibition drew parallels between the recent trials and the 1962 crackdown.

“Today, half a century later, we show these paintings, some people like them, some people don’t, but no one gets enraged,” Grigory Zaslavsky said. “So, the main lesson of the exhibition is: let’s wait. Let’s wait for at least a year, take a pause _ and maybe this will not be as offensive.”