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Public Phones to Offer Free Calls to Fairy-Tale Characters

Moscow authorities will turn some public payphones into places where people can call fairy-tale characters for free during the New Year's holidays.

The new telephone service will allow both Muscovites and guests of the capital to chat with their favorite fairy-tale heroes or simply make a wish, the head of the project, Alexei Kozlovsky, said Monday.

For now, there is no list of characters available for conversation, and the phone booth locations are undetermined, but "they are going to be nicely decorated, easy to find and completely free of charge."' Kozlovsky said, according to Interfax.

However, it's not only the New Year celebrations that brought the fairy-tale telephone idea to life. It appears to be a part of a bigger project called ''The Fairy-Tale Map of Russia,'' which was initiated in 2010 by Moscow's Diasporas Association and collects information about interesting sites, cultural events and museums devoted to the fairy-tale characters who represent this country's diverse folklore traditions.

But people involved with the telephone project said their main aim is simply to promote Russian folklore traditions and tourism.

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