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The curator of a Russian museum says he was fired for refusing to censor an exhibition which criticises the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games.

Marat Guelman was dismissed as director of the Perm Museum of Contemporary Art after backing the collection, which portrays a decidedly darker side of the former Soviet country.

The work, entitled ‘Welcome Sochi 2014’, was created by artist Vasily Slonov and features the Olympic rings as nooses and loops of barbed wire, bloody axes, grenades and a caricature of Joseph Stalin in a polar bear suit.

vasily slonov

Perm, where the museum is located, was home to one of the most famous labour camps for political prisons under Joseph Stalin

Guelman Tweeted that he had been sacked by minister of culture Igor Gladnev, stating: "Gladnev just called me and confirmed the fact of my dismissal. The Ministry of Culture, it seems, has confused its role with that of the FSB [the former KGB]."

“I had hoped that censorship was impossible and illegal,” he told NBC News.

He added: “The new trend of Russian politics is to divide everyone into groups of ‘us’ and ‘them’ and the small liberal islands are getting even smaller.”

By way of response, Perm regional governor Viktor Basargin later claimed in a blog that Guelman "had possibly abused" his position and used government funds for self-promotion, Ria Novosti reported.

Guelman has dismissed the allegations and maintains his dismissal was down to official "censorship".

In 2006, Guelman was violently attacked and his personal gallery was vandalised. A criminal investigation was launched after it was discovered several nationalist websites listed him as an "enemy of Russia" because of his Jewish surname, FAD reported.

vasily slonov

The Sochi mascot of a leopard - reportedly chosen by President Vladimir Putin himself - is show here holding a Statue of Liberty upside down, exposing her buttocks

Russia’s Life News reports officials have launched a legal case into Slonov’s works, alleging he used Sochi 2014 symbols without permission.

Though Guelman was sacked in June, criticism of the upcoming Sochi event is gaining momentum amid an uproar at the prospect of homosexual athletes and supporters facing arrest under the country’s newly approved anti-gay legislation.

It comes as a human rights organisation alleges Russian authorities have harassed activists and journalists critical of the upcoming Games.

Human Rights Watch also cites incidences where criminal charges have been brought against journalists, apparently in retaliation for their work.

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  • FILE - Riot police guard gay rights activists who were beaten by anti-gay protesters during an authorized gay rights rally in St. Petersburg, Russia, in this Saturday, June 29, 2013 file photo. Earlier in the year, President Vladimir Putin signed a law that will impose hefty fines for holding gay pride rallies or providing information about the gay community to minors. Amid a surge of anti-gay violence and repression in several countries, the United Nations’ human rights office on Friday, July 26, 2013 launched its first global outreach campaign aimed at promoting more tolerance and greater equality for lesbians, gays, transgender people and bisexuals. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky, File)

  • Gay rights activists hold a banner reading "Homophobia - the religion of bullies" during their action in protest at homophobia, on Red Square in Moscow, Russia, on Sunday, July 14, 2013. Police detained several gay activists. (AP Photo/Evgeny Feldman)

  • Maxim Lysak, Jury Gavrikov

    FILE - In this Saturday, June 29, 2013 file photo, riot police (OMON) officers detain gay rights activists Maxim Lysak and Jury Gavrikov during an authorized gay rights rally in St.Petersburg, Russia. As the hub of the Soviet Union, Russia was reviled for rights abuses by many U.S. conservatives during the Cold War. Now some are voicing support and admiration as Russian authorities crack down on gay-rights activism. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky, File)

  • Riot police (OMON) guard gay rights activists who have been beaten by anti-gay protesters during an authorized gay rights rally in St.Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, June 29, 2013. Police detained several gay activists, who were outnumbered by the protesters. Dozens of gay activists had to be protected by police as they gathered for the parade, which proceeded with official approval despite recently passed legislation targeting gays. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • Gay rights activists shout slogans during their authorized rally in St.Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, June 29, 2013. Police detained several gay activists, who were outnumbered by the protesters. Dozens of gay activists had to be protected by police as they gathered for the parade, which proceeded with official approval despite recently passed legislation targeting gays. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • Riot police (OMON) guard gay rights activists who have been beaten by anti-gay protesters during an authorized gay rights rally in St.Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, June 29, 2013. Police detained several gay activists, who were outnumbered by the protesters. Dozens of gay activists had to be protected by police as they gathered for the parade, which proceeded with official approval despite recently passed legislation targeting gays. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • Riot police (OMON) walk past sunbathers after an authorized gay rights rally in St.Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, June 29, 2013. Police detained several gay activists, who were outnumbered by the protesters. Dozens of gay activists had to be protected by police as they gathered for the parade, which proceeded with official approval despite recently passed legislation targeting gays. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • Maxim Lysak, Jury Gavrikov

    Riot police (OMON) officers detain gay rights activists Maxim Lysak and Jury Gavrikov during an authorized gay rights rally in St.Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, June 29, 2013. Police detained several gay activists, who were outnumbered by the protesters. Dozens of gay activists had to be protected by police as they gathered for the parade, which proceeded with official approval despite recently passed legislation targeting gays. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • Riot police (OMON) officers detain gay rights activists during their authorized rally in St.Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, June 29, 2013. Police detained several gay activists, who were outnumbered by the protesters. Dozens of gay activists had to be protected by police as they gathered for the parade, which proceeded with official approval despite recently passed legislation targeting gays. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • An anti-gay protester, center, fights with gay rights activists during an authorized gay rights rally in St.Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, June 29, 2013. Police detained several gay activists, who were outnumbered by the protesters. Dozens of gay activists had to be protected by police as they gathered for the parade, which proceeded with official approval despite recently passed legislation targeting gays. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • Anti-gay protesters shout slogans at gay right activists during an authorized gay rights rally in St.Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, June 29, 2013. Police detained several gay activists, who were outnumbered by the protesters. Dozens of gay activists had to be protected by police as they gathered for the parade, which proceeded with official approval despite recently passed legislation targeting gays. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • RUSSIA-GAY-RIGHTS-DEMO

    Gay rights activists take part in a gay pride event in Saint Petersburg on June 29, 2013. Russian police arrested dozens of people on June 29 after clashes erupted in the city of Saint Petersburg between pro- and anti-gay demonstrators. AFP PHOTO / OLGA MALTSEVA (Photo credit should read OLGA MALTSEVA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Jury Gavrikov

    Riot police (OMON) officers detain gay rights activist Jury Gavrikov during an authorized gay rights rally in St.Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, June 29, 2013. Police detained several gay activists, who were outnumbered by the protesters. Dozens of gay activists had to be protected by police as they gathered for the parade, which proceeded with official approval despite recently passed legislation targeting gays. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • RUSSIA-GAY-RIGHTS-DEMO

    Gay rights activists take part in a gay pride event in Saint Petersburg on June 29, 2013. Russian police arrested dozens of people on June 29 after clashes erupted in the city of Saint Petersburg between pro- and anti-gay demonstrators. AFP PHOTO / OLGA MALTSEVA (Photo credit should read OLGA MALTSEVA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • RUSSIA-GAY-RIGHTS-DEMO

    Anti-gay demonstrators gather on the sidelines of a gay pride event in Saint Petersburg on June 29, 2013. Russian police arrested dozens of people on June 29 after clashes erupted in the city of Saint Petersburg between pro- and anti-gay demonstrators. AFP PHOTO / OLGA MALTSEVA (Photo credit should read OLGA MALTSEVA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • RUSSIA-GAY-RIGHTS-DEMO

    Gay rights activists embrace each other after clashes with anti-gay demonstrators during a gay pride event in St. Petersburg on June 29, 2013. Russian police arrested dozens of people on Saturday after clashes erupted in the city of Saint Petersburg between pro- and anti-gay demonstrators. AFP PHOTO / OLGA MALTSEVA (Photo credit should read OLGA MALTSEVA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • RUSSIA-GAY-RIGHTS-DEMO

    Russian riot police detain gay rights activists during a gay pride event in St. Petersburg on June 29, 2013. Russian police arrested dozens of people on Saturday after clashes erupted in the city of Saint Petersburg between pro- and anti-gay demonstrators. AFP PHOTO / OLGA MALTSEVA (Photo credit should read OLGA MALTSEVA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • RUSSIA-GAY-RIGHTS-DEMO

    Russian riot police detain gay rights activists during a gay pride event in St. Petersburg on June 29, 2013. Russian police arrested dozens of people on Saturday after clashes erupted in the city of Saint Petersburg between pro- and anti-gay demonstrators. AFP PHOTO / OLGA MALTSEVA (Photo credit should read OLGA MALTSEVA/AFP/Getty Images)