Artists in Russia are holding an event where visitors will be able to pay for their art using bottles of alcohol.
The Art for Booze event in St Petersburg will take place on 13 February, the day before Valentine’s Day, and is for “those who are in love with art”, according to the group’s VKontakte social networking page. Anyone attending can leave their cash at home and take along a bottle of wine, or something stronger. “Do you understand alcohol better than art?” the page reads. “Do you spend more money on drinking than our pieces cost? Drop this and exchange precious drinks for priceless paintings.” The event is strictly for over 18s, the legal age for buying alcohol in Russia.
Organisers say they’re reviving a practice that was common during the 1920s and 1930s. “All well-known painters from Picasso to Ilya Kabakov did this,” they tell Ukrainian website Novoye Vremya. “Marc Chagall and Salvador Dali, among others, designed the label for Mouton-Rothschild bottles in exchange for a crate of wine.”
I’m always amazed by the incredible humaneness of which animals can be capable…
Masha, a long-haired tabby cat, saved the life of a baby abandoned in the streets of Russia — after she climbed into the box he was discarded in and kept him warm, health officials said.
“The baby had only been outside for a few hours and thanks to Masha … he was not damaged by the experience,” a hospital spokesman told Central European News.
The whiskered hero even meowed to get the attention of a passerby.
“She is very placid and friendly, so when I heard her meowing, I thought that perhaps she had injured herself,” said Obninsk city resident Irina Lavrova. “Normally she would have come and said hello to me. You can imagine my shock when I saw her lying in a box next to a baby.”
Masha is a…
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Monks at a remote monastery in northern Russia are launching the production of exquisite types of Italian cheese, it is reported.
One of the brethren has already been to Italy for training, and cheese-making equipment has been purchased, says Valaam, one of Russia’s most famous monasteries.
Monk Agapy spent a week in Italy, where local masters taught him to make such cheeses as mozzarella, caciotta, morlacco, smoked ricotta and bianca, Valaam says on its Facebook page.
A spokesman for the island monastery told the BBC that it expects production to start in December, using milk from cows at its own farm to make the cheeses. The initial plan is for them to be consumed at the monastery, but eventually Valaam hopes to produce up to 350 kg of cheese a week, at which point they will go on sale at less remote religious communities in Russia.
Valaam plays an important role in Russia’s religious life and is believed to be favoured by President Vladimir Putin. Italian cheeses are among the Western food imports that were banned by the Russian government in retaliation for economic sanctions against Moscow – over its actions in Ukraine.
Hey, why shouldn’t they be able to enjoy such cheeses?
And once the embargo is lifted, they’ll probably keep making their cheese, having started doing it.
The West’s loss is their gain!
“Some drivers are very violent. I’ve been threatened with a firearm thousands of times. But we want to build a civil society to make democracy work. So that is a conscious choice that we make.”
The group’s work and popularity has earned them the praise of some of Russia’s highest-ranking officials; they’ve even met with President Putin. “We do have some support as well from public servants and government officials,” said Chugunov. “But they help us in a private capacity. We’ve been praised by the President and the Prime Minister. It didn’t involve any financial help.”
Putin’s endorsment has helped the group’s relations with the real traffic police. But they insist that they’re not too close to the establishment. “We are so popular because we’re honest and transparent,” Chugunov added. “We don’t do any favors for important people or government cars. People who have bigger cars and more money shouldn’t think that they have a greater freedom to do anything they want.”