Europe / International News

Hundreds of Russians protest destruction of demon sculpture

People gathered for a protest rally are reflected in glasses of a participant, in downtown St.Petersburg, Russia, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015. About 300 people have held a protest in Russia's second-largest city over the destruction of a century-old bas-relief of the demon Mephistopheles, and called for greater protection of other historical buildings and parks they say are under threat. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

People gathered for a protest rally are reflected in glasses of a participant, in downtown St.Petersburg, Russia, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015. About 300 people have held a protest in Russia’s second-largest city over the destruction of a century-old bas-relief of the demon Mephistopheles, and called for greater protection of other historical buildings and parks they say are under threat. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — About 300 people have held a protest in Russia’s second-largest city over the destruction of a century-old bas-relief of the demon Mephistopheles and called for greater protection of other historical buildings and parks they say are under threat.

The sculpture was a small landmark in St. Petersburg, a city noted for striking architecture. Its destruction by unknown vandals in August raised fears of growing religious intolerance in Russia.

Also last month, activists ransacked an exhibition of non-conformist artists in Moscow, shouting that the works offended Christians.

Alexander Kobrinsky, a St. Petersburg lawmaker who took part in Sunday’s protest, said the objective was “to defend our city from vandals, construction companies and even religious organizations.”

Irina Kruglova, a 67-year-old protester, said she came “to defend my city from vandalism and greed.”

 

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