Russian writer's museum sacked by critic of 'Satanic' work
Mon Dec 25, 2:04 PM ET
MOSCOW (AFP) - A museum dedicated to a Russian writer condemned by the Orthodox church for his authorship of a "Satanic gospel" has been largely destroyed, an official told AFP.
The museum celebrated the life and work of Mikhail Bulgakov, author of "The Master and Margarita" a work of fantasy and satire in which the devil comes to Communist-era Moscow to see if he can do some good.
The Orthodox church said that the book, not published until 26 years after Bulgakov's death in 1940, was "the fifth gospel, that of Satan."
According to Svetlana Kostina, deputy director of the museum, Alexander Morozov, a bitter critic of Bulgakov's work, which he condemned as Satanic, last Thursday locked himself in the museum, situated on the ground floor of a building and demanded that it be evicted.
He "threw many objects out of the window, including valuable illustrations of Bulgakov's works, signed by great Russian artists, not to mention several computers," she said.
About half the contents were damaged.
Morozov had been campaigning for years against the presence of the museum, which looks on to a park where the writer lived and where he placed the action of "The Master and Margarita."
He lives in the building and in 2004 organised a successful protest by local people against the construction of a monument to the writer.
There is no monument in Moscow to Bulgakov (1891 to 1940) although he was a popular playwright in the 1920s, before falling out of favour in the 1930s, though he benefitted from a degree of protection from Stalin.