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Lawmaker proposes change to ‘pornographic’ 100 rouble note

Lawmaker proposes change to 'pornographic' 100 rouble note

8 July 2014
Text Nadia Beard

A deputy of the State Duma has claimed that one of the images on the 100 rouble banknote contains elements of pornography and called for it to be abandoned in favour of a more child-friendly design. Roman Khudyakov, a member of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, said that the image of Apollo riding a chariot on the roof of Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre, in which the statue’s penis is just visible, is not in line with current legislative regulations, which “protects children from information that could be harmful to their health and development”, and should come with a 18+ warning.

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”. In place of the figure of Apollo, Khudyakov suggested that a new bank note should be issued featuring landmarks in the Crimean city of Sevastopol, “both as a ‘hero city’ and as a city of strategic importance”. 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. Khudyakov’s claims have also been rejected by professionals: 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.”

This appeal is not the first time the issue of the design of banknotes has been raised: last month, another deputy from the Liberal Democratic Party suggested to the State Duma that a new 10,000-rouble note should be printed in honour of the “reunification” of Crimea and Russia. The bid was, however, quickly rejected by Naibullina’s first deputy, Georgy Luntovsky.