Russian producer of Lolita play 'attacked'

15th January 2013, Comments 0 comments

The producer of a play based on Vladimir Nabokov's controversial novel "Lolita" said Tuesday he had been attacked and accused of being a paedophile in the northwestern city of Saint Petersburg.

Artyom Suslov said three unidentified men had attacked him on Sunday after requesting an interview about the staging of the novel.

"They hit me while asking me if I was a paedophile and filming the scene on a video camera," Suslov, who was shown on local television with two black eyes, said on social networking websites.

Suslov reported the incident to police, who were deciding whether to open a criminal case, local television reported.

The organisers of the staged version of Lolita at the Erarta private contemporary art museum in Saint Petersburg had cancelled an October performance after a letter of protest signed by several Cossacks, a group known for conservative views, was sent to local media.

The Russian-American writer's novel describing a middle-aged man's obsession with a 12-year-old girl has provoked scandal since it was published in 1955.

Earlier this month the Vladimir Nabokov museum based in the writer's childhood home in Saint Petersburg called police after receiving a series of letters accusing it of "propaganda of paedophilia".

One of the letters was thrown through a museum window in a bottle.

Saint Petersburg last year passed a contentious local law making "propaganda" of paedophilia or homosexuality to minors an offence punishable with fines.

Paedophilia is a crime in Russia, while homosexuality was decriminalised in 1993 and the new law was widely criticised for equating the two.

© 2013 AFP

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