Jewish artist missing in Berlin


German police are searching for a Jewish artist who was tried in Russia for one of her exhibits.

Police have been searching for Anna Mikhalchuk, 52, since her husband reported her missing late March 21, the Berlin Tagesspiegel newspaper reported. She disappeared after going shopping that day, the paper said.

Mikhalchuk moved to Berlin last November with her husband, the philosopher Michail Ryklin, 60, who is on an academic fellowship. Both are known as outspoken critics of Vladimir Putin, the outgoing Russian president who will remain a key member of the government as prime minister.

Police have posted a description of Mikhalchuk, with a number for the public to call with tips.

Mikhalchuk, who also is known by her professional name, Anna Alchuk, was tried in Moscow in 2003 because of her exhibit “Attention, Religion,” which was attacked and destroyed, reportedly by right-wing nationalists. She was acquitted on charges of “insulting the religious feelings of the Russian people.”

Ryklin told the Tagesspiegel two years ago that his wife was subjected to anti-Semitic taunting by public observers of the trial, who cursed her as a “Jew” and said she should leave Russia.

Although there have been death threats against her on the Internet, the couple apparently felt safe enough in Berlin to have their name on their mailbox, the paper reported.

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