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© RIA Novosti. Vladimir Astapkovich

Russia wants to censor antique ‘erotica’

by RIA Novosti at 26/11/2013 16:53

Michelangelo’s David and Venus de Milo may soon be required to don fig leaves in Russia, according to a new draft law proposing making “erotic” artwork inaccessible to young Russians.

Russia banned access for children to erotic and pornographic content last year, though the country's legislation does not provide a clear legal definition of either.

So far, content deemed as “having significant historical, artistic or otherwise cultural value” has been exempt from the ban.

The rule has spared Russian museums, parks and websites from the need to censor works of antique, Renaissance and modern art that depict nude breasts or bottoms. Moscow’s Pushkin Museum – which proudly displays a replica of Michelangelo’s David with uncovered genitalia, unlike some other replicas – held an exhibition of nude art just earlier this year.

But a new draft law on information safety for minors, published by the state media and telecoms watchdog Roscomnadzor, proposes removing the exemption for works of art.

The watchdog did not return a request for comment in time for publication. Two experts involved in drafting the law could not be reached by telephone Tuesday.

The draft law was put up Monday for public discussion, for which no timeframe was given.

Russia already blacklists without a court order websites deemed to be promoting extremism, illegal drugs or suicide, or disseminating child porn. Access to allegedly pirated film content can also be temporarily blocked without a court ruling.

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