LGBTQ history museum in St Petersburg is shut down

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By Euronews
Statue from Russian LGBT museum
Statue from Russian LGBT museum   -  Copyright  EBU

A museum devoted to Russia's LGBTQ history in St Petersburg has opened and closed in the space of a few days after Russia's tough new 'gay propaganda' law came into force.

Pyotr Voskresensky is the founder of the museum. He dedicated years to amassing the collection of Russian-made statues, jewellery, vases, books and other art objects that showcased the history of the country's LGBTQ subculture

However, the collection fell foul of the law that completely bans what the authorities regard as the promotion of "non-traditional" sexual relations.

On the 5th of December, Russian president Vladimir Putin signed a law which banned completely anything deemed "propaganda" of non-traditional sexual relations, gender reassignment and paedophilia. This extends to media, the internet, advertisements, books or films.

If found guilty of disseminating "LGBT propaganda" among minors, a person faces a fine of up to €75,000 (5 million roubles), while among adults the fine is more than €60,000 (4 million roubles). Fines for "propaganda promoting paedophilia" will be €150,000 (10 million roubles) while "gender change propaganda" faces a fine of €60,000 (4 million roubles).

The new legislation had already hardened harsh anti-gay laws. The museum's brief opening was a symbolic protest against the crackdown on an embattled minority community.

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