Calling itself apolitical and nonreligious, Ikea removed this photo from a competition for the cover of its next catalog.
MOSCOW — Ikea, known worldwide for its provocative marketing stunts, has decided to draw the line at a picture of masked youths wearing Pussy Riot-style balaclavas and seated on Ikea furniture.
A month into a customer competition to select the cover for its next catalog, Ikea Russia deleted the picture of four youths wearing colored masks from its website over the weekend. In place of the photo, visitors to Ikea Russia’s site now see a statement that reads: “Ikea is a commercial organization that operates independently of politics and religion. We cannot allow our advertising project to be used as a means of propaganda.”
The photograph, taken by a user called Starovoitova from the Urals city of Yekaterinburg, was the most popular in Ikea’s photo gallery at the time it was deleted, and the pictureless page remained in the No. 1 spot Sunday. It has garnered more than 1,400 online votes.
A Moscow court sentenced three members of the punk band Pussy Riot to two-year jail terms in August for a performance criticizing President Vladimir Putin in Moscow’s main cathedral. A legal appeal of the three women’s sentence on hooliganism charges is due to be heard Oct. 1, when supporters plan to hold a worldwide rally.
ST. PETERSBURG (SPT) — The price for participation in the St. Petersburg Economic Forum has increased by more than 66 percent, Vedomosti reported Monday, citing the forum’s organizers.Economic Forum To Hike Price
With the opening of the new Mariinsky stage still fresh in people’s minds, all eyes remain trained on what is quickly becoming St. Petersburg’s own arts district.New Holland: Island in the Sun
MOSCOW — Two members of a militant nationalist group that has been implicated in a number of high-profile killings, including those of a prominent judge and an opposition journalist, have been detained in Serbia and Ukraine, the Investigative Committee said Monday.Militant Nationalists Arrested Over Killings
A discharged police officer, currently on criminal probation for beating a protester during a demonstration, found himself behind bars for a shooting in a local cafe last week. On Sunday, a court ruled he would be held in pre-trial custody for 30 days.Former Cop Shoots Up Local Cafe
World War II is only a vague recollection in the rest of the world. Three years ago, my wife’s cousin, a heroic U.S. fighter pilot and former prisoner of war, was invited to a ceremony in Great Britain marking the 65th anniversary of victory. But most people no longer remember the date of Nazi Germany’s surrender.Russia’s Unfinished War
Michael Rother, the influential German musician best known for his work with Krautrock bands NEU! and Harmonia in the 1970s, will perform at the 17th Sergei Kuryokhin International Festival being held this week. Known as SKIF, the annual local festival of avant-garde and leftfield music is held in memory of the late St. Petersburg musician Sergei Kuryokhin.Pushing the Envelope