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Moscow Culture Department Opens New Online Portal

The website’s interface looks very similar to competitors like Artguide.ru.

A new information portal created by the Moscow Culture Department, "Kultura Moskvy" went live on Thursday, offering lists of activities and sites for Muscovites to enjoy the rich culture of their home city.

"This is not an attempt to create an analogue of 'Afisha' or 'Time Out,'" said Moscow Culture Department head Sergei Kapkov. "The goal of the site is to present Muscovites with all the information that the Culture Department has and which is a pity to keep to ourselves: The history of buildings, exhibitions, development plans, and possibilities for cultural and artistic education. In one word, we are not governed by the interests of a narrow audience, but rather present information about everything for everyone," an official Culture Department news release said.

Regardless of Kapkov's disclaimer, the website in fact does function in largely the same way as nongovernmental city culture websites like Afisha, Time Out and Artguide.ru, with long listings of exhibits and events and a full directory of venues. Kultura Moskvy seems to focus largely on exhibits, with most of the listings showing historical and art exhibits at Moscow's many museums.

In addition to the event and venue listings, the site also has articles — another feature shared with other portals like Afisha and Artguide — with a section called "Overviews" containing guides on what to do on various city holidays, compilations of film reviews and more articles about centers of city culture and special events.

The site also has a secondary portal which aims to prioritize events and places that are deemed child-friendly. At present, the two sites seem to be largely identical, though this will theoretically change as more pages are given the child-friendly tag.

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