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Russian Artist Missing in Berlin
Missing Russian artist Anna Mikhalchuk.

BERLIN.-A Russian artist who provoked outrage with an exhibition in Moscow in 2003 that ridiculed the Orthodox Church has disappeared from her home in Berlin, police in the German capital said on Thursday. Anna Mikhalchuk, 52, left her apartment on March 21 and has not been seen since, police spokeswoman Gabriele Kobbe told The Associated Press.

Police spokesman Bernhard Schodrowski said Saturday 90 police checked out a lake, a railway embankment and an area occupied by garden allotments on Friday, but ended the search without finding anything. The missing-person inquiry would continue.

As a result of her 2003 exhibition in Moscow, Ms Mikhalchuk was tried for inciting religious hatred, but cleared. The exhibition featured works of art that were seen as blasphemous by many Russian Orthodox believers and was vandalized by Orthodox activists shortly after it opened. Two associates - the director of the Moscow museum where the exhibition was shown and an employee at the institution - were convicted and each fined 100,000 rubles (4,300 dollars).

Mikhalchuk has been living in the city's central Charlottenburg district with her husband, Mikhail Ryklin, the Russian philosopher. Both have been extensively quoted in Russia as critics of President Vladimir Putin's regime.

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