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News 23 Apr 15

Banned Russian Rally Shifts to Montenegro

The annual political-artistic rally called Monstratsiya - traditionally held every May Day in Siberia - is moving this year to Montenegro after being banned in Russia.

Dusica Tomovic
BIRN
Podgorica

A performance art rally held annually in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk in Russia is set to take place in the Montenegrin town of Budva this May Day, after authorities in the Russian city said the event could not go ahead in its usual location.

For ten years, Novsibirsk has hosted the Monstratsiya, a mass absurdist performance  combining political statements with art.

Russian media reports on Wednesday said the mayor of Novosibirsk had sent a letter to organisers, informing them that the central Krasny Prospekt — where Monstratsiya has traditionally been held — was unavailable his year because another event was planned there.

Activists hoping to organise the Monstratsiya rally in other cities in Russia reported the same reaction from local authorities, the orgnizers said.

"There is a lot of interest in developing art, in satisfying the public's need for cultural events in Montenegro - a steady flow of tourists is already in place,” said Artyom Loskutov, one of Monstratsiya’s original organisers, on the decision to move the rally to Montenegro.

Since it started in 2004,  Monstratsiya's organisers have consistently been at odds with the authorities in Russia. Friction intensified after last year's attempt to organise a “March for the Federalisation of Siberia”, which was immediately banned by authorities. In February, Loskutov had to leave the town.



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