Naked images of the Greek God Apollo have graced
buildings and paintings for centuries, but his disrobed body
has so shocked one Russian lawmaker that he wants to change the
country's 100-rouble banknote.
The note, worth less than $3, depicts an image of a statue of
Apollo riding a four-horse chariot atop the Bolshoi Theatre,
one of Russia's main cultural symbols.
"You can see clearly that Apollo is naked, you can see his
genitalia," Roman Khudyakov, a member of parliament for the
nationalist LDPR party, told Reuters Television.
"I submitted a parliamentary request and forwarded it
directly to the head of the central bank asking for the
banknote to be brought into line with the law protecting
children and to remove this Apollo."
He said he had been stirred into action when he saw two
children looking at the banknote: "The girl screamed at the
boy: 'Can you see that? I told you, there is a penis here!'.
I was shocked, you know."
The call coincides with growing conservatism in President
Vladimir Putin's third term, during which he has courted the
Russian Orthodox Church. What is widely described as anti-gay
legislation has also been passed banning the promotion of
"non-traditional" relations to minors.
The Bolshoi itself made headlines by covering the genitalia
of the huge Apollo statue with a figleaf when it reopened in
2011 after a scandal-marred restoration that took more than
six years and $700 million.
Khudyakov's proposal triggered a wave of satire on the
Internet, with some users joking it must have been the first
time a lawmaker had seen a 100-rouble banknote as they are
reported to deal with much larger sums.
The central bank had no immediate comment.