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President for Life (and I type this semi-sarcastically) Vladimir Putin may run Russia with an iron fist, but not everyone marches to the beat of his particular artists.  And one has decided to place the Dictator in Chief in a position, or more specifically a piece of clothing, that he wouldn't be caught alive in...ladies lingerie.

The artist in question, Konstantin Altunin, depicted both Putin and his protege, Dimitri Medvedev, in women's undies.

Needless to say, Altunin has fled Russia and is asking for asylum in France.

“I am an artist, I want to paint, not be a prisoner,” the artist Konstantin Altunin said via telephone from Paris. He added he fled Russia on Tuesday in fear of his life after four of his paintings were seized from the recently opened Museum of Power in St. Petersburg.
It probably is a good thing he skipped town, especially considering the person in question he insulted.  Museum of Power's director Tatyana Titova related how an armed group of ten armed security personnel seized Altunin's works, and for good measure closed the museum.

We know full well what Putin thinks of freedom of expression (see Pussy Riot).  Of course, he isn't the only world leader who has been shamed by artists in provocative ways, as Jacob Zuma and Stephen Harper found out.

Hopefully we will be spared images of Governor Christie in a thong, or Mitch McConnell in a see-through (I would bet many of us would have weak stomachs).  Till then, enjoy the slideshow, and remember..."Ars gratia artis"!


Should world leaders be subject to ridicule, no matter how popular?

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