A Russian artist, charged with inciting religious hatred, will launch an online vote on Sunday in which users are to decide whether he should live or die.
Oleg Mavromatti fled to Bulgaria in 2000, shortly after charges of inciting religious hatred were filed against him for the "Do not Believe Your Eyes" performance, in which he was crucified.
The artist said he had since heard repeated calls for his execution and decided to give his foes a chance.
"As soon as an artist makes a radical move, he is immediately told that he deserves a punishment, with some even speaking of a death penalty. So I decided to give those people a chance to punish the "guilty" artist, whom they dislike so much," Mavromatti said.
"Let's see how ready they are to go ahead with the execution. I have no doubts that they would do it and I want to show that the humanity is not as humane as it thinks of itself," he added.
The on-line performance, headlined Ally / Foe, would take place daily since November 7 and last a week. Mavromatti would be tied to an electric chair, programmed to make five electric shocks, each more powerful than the previous. The fifth shock will be a fatal one.
According to the project's website, svoichuzoi.org, a total of 100 votes are required for the first 600000V shock, lasting 0.5 seconds, and 1,000 for the second, lasting 1.5 seconds. Further details have not been disclosed.
Mavromatti's critics accused the artist of blackmail, saying that he is simply trying to get a new Russian foreign passport instead of an expired one and avoid extradition to Russia, where he faces from three to five years in prison.
The artist, who claimed in the media that Interpol would soon come after him, denied the accusations.
"The performance is not aimed at demanding passport, visa, mercy, compassion, asylum and so on. This project is pure sociology, though with a bit of radicalism. I just want to conduct an opinion poll, just like any normal sociological study does. That's all," he said.
MOSCOW, November 7 (RIA Novosti)