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Omsk governor calls proposed public art project ‘LGBT propaganda’
Mayor of Omsk Sergey Shelest has criticized a project that would install statues of pigeons painted in various colors along the Irtysh River embankment.
“First of all, I’m confused by the birds’ color scheme. It definitely points in the direction of LGBT. Secondly, you see what happens to our monuments, even the ones that cause no negative emotions, people break them. These pigeons, if they have that color scheme, I 100 percent guarantee that they’ll get broken in the near future. I don’t want to be a mayor who makes LGBT propaganda,” said Shelest at a meeting of the local arts council.
Members of the council asked for revisions to the project, suggesting that the birds be white, and that the project’s creators find a more suitable site. The multicolored pigeons are the work of local designer Alena Barylo.
Materials about the project proposed that it would “make a public space recognizable, where the object partially fits into the landscape, changes context, and enters into a dialogue with the surrounding space.”
In December 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law that fully bans “propaganda for non-traditional sexual relations and pedophilia,” expanding a 2013 law that banned LGBTQ+ “propaganda” for minors. The law does not specify what counts as “propaganda.”
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