Alcoholics to be banned from taking culture shots

The authorities in St. Petersburg are planning to ban drunken people from visiting museums and other sites of cultural interest.

It comes after a tourist – allegedly under the influence – fell to his death at St. Isaac’s Cathedral.

St. Petersburg’s City Hall says the ban would protect not just people, but cultural objects too.

The deadly fall at St. Isaac’s happened in the early morning, when a group of tourists from Krasnoyarsk was visiting the cathedral as part of a night-time excursion.

They were standing on the viewing platform when one of the men decided to climb up higher. He fell and hit a marble floor a few meters below, dying instantly. Reports suggest he was drunk.

This comes amid Russia’s wide anti-alcohol campaign. President Medvedev has long declared the fight against alcoholism and drug-addiction to be Russia’s priority, especially among children and teenagers.

A law signed by President Medvedev on July 20 prohibits shop sales of beer during the night (between 11pm and 8am) and alcohol advertising generally. It also introduced fines for drinking beer in various public places.

Earlier the State Duma qualified the sale of alcoholic beverages to minors as a criminal offense. The bill deems the repeated sale of alcohol to minors to be a crime, punishable by a fine of up to $2,860, or up to one year of mandatory labor.

According to Rospotrebnadzor, two of three Russian children aged between 13 and 16 regularly consume alcohol, mostly beer and canned cocktails.

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