Despite the strain put on Russia's budget due to the country's economic downturn, the Moscow city government this year spent twice as much as last year on City Day celebrations.
City Hall spent 500 million rubles ($7.3 million) on celebrations devoted to Moscow's 868th anniversary this year, the RBC newspaper reported Monday, citing documents published on the government's official state procurement website. Last year's spending totaled 250 million rubles ($3.6 million), Moscow's culture head Sergei Kapkov said at the time, according to RBC.
This year's government spending did not include the celebration's flagship event: Saturday's huge concert on Lubyanskaya Ploshchad featuring U.S. rock band Aerosmith. The concert was organized and paid for by private businessmen, RBC reported.
City Day celebrations were attended by 4 million people, Moscow police spokesman Andrei Galiakberov told the Interfax news agency on Saturday. This number was lower than the planned 10 million due to bad weather, RBC reported.