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Mayor Backs Graffiti in Underpasses

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin supports a proposal to authorize graffiti in underpasses, RIA-Novosti reported.

"By no means do I object to you decorating these spaces and making them cleaner, brighter and more beautiful," he said.

Underpasses used to be in a "dreadful" state, but in recent months they have been washed and painted, he said at a meeting of the mayoral council for youth policy.

Sobyanin also called for the installation of small retail outlets in underpasses. He suggested that the city allocate a considerable amount of underpass space for advertising and use the revenue to pay for maintenance.

He went on to say that he would ask Moscow's chief architect to discuss house-painting proposals with graffiti artists. Sobyanin added that he liked the idea of using graffiti for aesthetic improvements.

In Russia, graffiti arists have historically been associated with  underground, counterculture, or LGBT groups and painters of modern art. In recent years, they have become more mainstream.

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