Monday, 02. March 2015
09. 07. 14. - 15:00
Russian MPs are debating a proposal to change the 100 rouble note after a complaint from MPs from the Liberal Democratic party that it was pornographic because it showed a man's private parts.
The 100 rouble note, which is worth just under 2 GBP, has the image of Apollo riding a chariot on the roof of Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre and in which the statue's penis is just visible.
The State Duma deputy from the Liberal Democratic Party, Roman Khudyakov, said that having the man's private parts at the centre of the banknote was a clear breach of the law governing the "protection of children from information that harmful to their health and development". He wants it shredded in favour of a note with a more child friendly image and has suggested the use of a picture of the Crimean city of Sevastopol, "both as a ‘hero city’ and as a city of strategic importance".
In a letter to the head of Russia’s Central Bank Elvira Nabiullina, Khudyakov wrote: "Taking into account that notes of this denomination often end up in children’s hands as pocket money, I implore you either to change the design of the banknote or to bring it in line with regulations."
He also pointed out that following renovations at the Bolshoi, which saw the controversial addition of a fig leaf to Apollo’s nude figure, "the image on the banknote is no longer even accurate".
The world famous opera and ballet theatre reopened its doors after a six year 500 million GBP restoration in 2011. It was then that eagle-eyed bloggers noted a decision had been taken to 'restore' a statue of Apollo riding a chariot pulled by four horses atop the theatre's roof by covering up his genitalia with a fig leaf.
The theatre's restorers insisted they have merely restored the landmark statue to its original glory and that its original sculptor, Pyotr Klodt, had made a fig leaf for the statue in the nineteenth century to spare theatre-goers blushes. They said the leaf had "fallen off" in unclear circumstances sometime after the Second World War to reveal the mythical God's penis.
Many however questioned why the sculptor would have bothered to sculpt a penis at all if it was designed to always be covered up by a fig leaf.
Khudyakov, a politician from breakaway state Transnistria, which is also claimed by Moldova, was elected chairman of the right-wing Liberal Democratic Party of Pridnestrovie in 2006, and was given the deputy mandate from the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia in 2012.
Khudyakov's proposal has been met with widespread amazement by a Russian public that has seen a number of new and bizarre laws coming into effect in the past year, including a recent ban on synthetic lace underwear.
Irina Rapoport, a professor at the Russian Academy for Medical Science, told daily newspaper Izvestia that sex education for children should begin at the age of three, remarking: "To me, nothing awful will happen if a girl sees the image of Apollo on the banknote."
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