Now that Russian lawmakers have made solid progress killing social media in country, they have turned their attention to the important things: pornography. Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker Roman Khudyakov feels that the Russian 100 ruble bill (pictured above) contains a pornographic image.
The bill pictures the Greek God Apollo, wearing, well, what Greeks wore. Some kind of vague toga situation. The statue is from the portico at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, which was restored in 2010, and an important historic monument for Russians. At the time of restoration, Apollo's boy parts were covered with a fig leaf.
While the theater did painstakingly restore this portico, it was all in vain, according to Khudyakov. In his letter to the Central Bank of Russia, which issues banknotes, Khudyakov argued that the bill shows "intimate parts of the body" and therefore should come with an "18+" rating, similar to an R rating for movies. He believes that the scantily clad Apollo on the bill breaks the law which protects children from viewing "potentially damaging information." A 100 ruble bill is less than three United States dollars, so it is often given to kids as pocket money.
As an alternative to Apollo, Khudyakov recommends the bill's image is replaced with the Black Sea port in Sevastopol, Crimea, as a tribute to Russia annexing the region from Ukraine in March.
While Khudyakov may technically be right about the bill violating pornography laws, the region in question is very difficult to see and replacing the image would be a logistical nightmare. For the Central Bank to replace the image, it would create a major financial burden, as all circulated bills would need to be replaced. An expert would need to review the existing image to verify it is unusable, then a new image would need to be decided upon.
Mikhail Kushnaryov, the deputy chief of Moscow's municipal bar association, believes the request to change the bill is ridiculous. "[If the bill is banned] then school textbooks on human anatomy would also have to be banned." Irina Rapoport, the head of the public council at the Health Ministry's center for medical and social problems of youth, agrees, "I think nothing terrible at all is going to happen if a girl sees the Apollo statue on the bill," she was quoted as saying.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.