Man who vandalized icons distances himself from Pussy Riot

A man who threw paint over icons in Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Savior told a court on Wednesday that his act had nothing to do with February's scandalous performance in the same church that earned three members of the Pussy Riot punk band two years in prison.

"I had an educational goal - I wanted to attract attention and establish the truth, I wasn't committing any act of hooliganism in the church of the kind Pussy Riot did, for example," Yury Piotrovsky said.

The chief aim of his act was "to launch a dialogue between Jews and Christians," he said. "It is essential to have dialogue at the highest level between the pope, the chief rabbi of Russia and the rabbi of Israel in order to clarify this matter."

Court papers said Piotrovsky was currently in a delirious, confused condition.

Piotrovsky protested his arrest and promised to come to the trial sessions in Moscow from Munich, where he lives.

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