A photoblog with pictures I've taken of graffiti and street art in Moscow (and anywhere else I happen to travel).

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

"Graffiti Is Now Legal in Moscow"

This is an interesting article...

Graffiti Is Now Legal In Moscow
Undated, from the InteractiveRussia website
[probably translated from a Russian media source]

Moscow authorities surrendered to the wall artists. Various punishments prescribed in the Russian civil code do not stop youngsters from painting walls in the Russian capital. Moscow city budget spends a lot of money on covering graffiti with fresh layers of paint, and this money is simply wasted, because after a little while new drawings emerge on the same place.

The commission of Moscow State Duma on Social Policies wants to negotiate an agreement with the street artists. Young people that do graffiti will form their own Association with the support of the Moscow government. They will get fences and walls for painting and special areas where they can arrange graffiti competitions. In return, the youngsters should be fighting disorganized street vandals on with their own means.

Wall art is just being born in Russia, and very frequently the word “graffiti” is used to refer to any decent or indecent inscription scratched on a fence.

In any case it looks like the initiative of the Moscow government will fail. The reason for this would be the conflict of interests – graffiti fans think that their masterpieces should be observed by as many people as possible. But it seems doubtful that the Mayor of the Russian capital will leave the walls in Moscow’s downtown to the mercy of the street artists.

At the moment, let me tell ya, they are definitely at the mercy of the street artists.

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