Prostitution is claimed to be the oldest profession in the world and may deserve a museum of its own, but now that one has opened within walking distance of the Kremlin, MPs are crying foul and threatening to shut it down.
“Let’s open a museum of murderers and rapists too,” because one may now say that they also deserve to be studied, Vitaly Milonov, a parliamentarian made famous for his anti-gay crusade, said.
It may end up being OK if it treats prostitution as the “immoral” crime that it is, but “if it’s frivolous, then we’ll have grounds to shut it down,” Milonov warned.
The museum couldn’t accommodate everyone who came to the opening – not because there were hordes of people wishing to learn about the history of love for sale… but because it’s very small.
Artist and collector Valery Pereverzev fitted the toilet room of his own Torture Museum to host the Museum of the History of Prostitution, saying “I think it’s the best place for it.”
Pereverzev claimed that glorifying the sex trade wasn’t his aim at all, as the display which he has been collecting and assembling over the last half year is designed “to make a person feel betrayed and nasty.”
Visitors say there is nothing shocking about it and that they actually “expected more.”The exhibition consists of vintage photos of courtesans, books, chastity belts, and old dresses.
“It’s not an actual museum,” Elena Drapeko, the deputy head of the parliament’s Committee on Culture, said, expressing doubt that its exhibits were properly registered with the state.
“Does it have to anything with culture? It may relate to history, hygiene and maybe medicine, but not culture,” Drapeko stated.
It’s the first attempt to open a museum of prostitution in Russia, while a similar one called ‘Red Light Secrets’ is one of the important sights in Amsterdam.