Man gets suspended jail sentence for throwing petrol bombs at Tate Modern


Tate Modern exterior


Tate Modern sits on the south bank of the River Thames

A man has been given a suspended jail sentence for throwing Molotov cocktails at London’s Tate Modern art gallery.

The Russian man, who calls himself Alexander Art, threw four bottles containing flammable liquid at an external wall in November in what he said was an artistic protest.

Appearing under his real name Aleksandr Maslov, he pleaded guilty to arson at Inner London Crown Court on Friday.

He was sentenced to four months in jail, suspended for 18 months.

Maslov took issue with Tate Modern after its security guards allegedly destroyed an installation he was creating outside the gallery.

He then spent five months standing outside the gallery wearing a sign claiming “Tate Modern destroys work of art”.

Alexander Art


The Russian protested against the gallery for five months last year

The Russian, who came to the UK in 2017, called his peaceful protest “Resistance to tatecide”, alleging the gallery was “aggressive to contemporary artists”.

But he went further in the early hours of 23 November, when he threw Molotov cocktails at the gallery, calling the resulting burn marks a “monument to despair”.

A Tate representative told the BBC there was no damage to the building and no injury to the public.

According to Maslov’s wife Oksana, the Russian citizen spent 20 days on hunger strike during his detention at Thameside Prison in south-east London.

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