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Modern Art or Violation of Law? Artists Have Been Invited to Police

Representatives of Art Laboratoria group of painters and artists were invited to the police station to give explanations on a graffiti art depicting imprisoned journalist, chief editor of local daily Haykakan Jamanak (“Armenian Times”) Nikol Pashinyan that appeared in one of the pedestrian underpasses of Baghramyan Blvd. in central Yerevan.

Philosopher Artur Petrosyan and Art Laboratoria president, artist Hovhannes Margaryan had been invited to the Kentron police station.

“We received a notice to appear in Kentron police station of Yerevan. My brother Araik Petrosyan and I went to police station where we were interrogated. We were asked why we had depicted graffiti of a soldier who has shot himself, the Iranian woman and Nikol Pashinyan,” said Petrosyan.

He also said that they had presented relevant explanations clarifying that the type of modern art presented by them is known in the whole world as “street art”.

“We noted that by means of this type of art our organization is trying to respond to the developments of social importance like that of the demand to free political prisoner Nikol Pashinyan,” said Petrosyan.

Artur also mentioned that the explanation letters would be sent to the Prosecutor’s Office.

“Art Laboratoria” president, artist Hovhannes Margaryan said in his talk to Epress.am that it was still not clear if legal proceedings would be instituted for the environment pollution. “It is possible that legal proceedings would be instituted, the Prosecutor’s Office has still to clear up if it is modern art or violation of law,” he said.

If the law-enforcement authorities decide that Nikol Pashinyan’s depiction is not a work of art the graffiti authors could be charged from 50,000 up to 100,000 drams (about $140 to $278 US).