The artist whose paintings depicted Russian resident Vladimir Putin and prime minister Dmitry Medvedev in women's underwear has fled the country.
The director of St. Petersburg's Museum of Power, Tatiana Titova, said that Konstantin Altunin left for France and was planning to request asylum there. Authorities removed four of Altunin's satirical depictions of Russian politicians on Monday and shut down the exhibition.
A police statement did not specify which laws may have been violated by the provocative works. A Russian law prohibits insulting state authorities. Another law bans homosexual propaganda aimed at minors.
Last year, an exhibit that depicted members of the Pussy Riot punk band as holy icons drew the ire of religious and pro-government activists, who came to protest the exhibition's opening.