Aug 28, 2007

This is the straw that broke the camel's back, Russia

So you eliminated freedom of speech, possibly had various journalists killed, intensified your already rampant xenophobia, tried to steal the North Pole as your own...but now you've gone too far. Buying Red Army junk is every tourist's God given right. I will not part with my Red Army flask, Russia!

New York Times: 2 months ago, Roxana Contreras was exploring a provincial Russian town when a street vendor persuaded her to buy some Red Army medals and old ruble notes the day before she was to return to her home in St. Louis, she said. Now she is stuck in Russia, mired in a legal and bureaucratic imbroglio, accused of trying to smuggle cultural treasures out of the country. Pending a court hearing, she has been ordered to remain in Voronezh, about 365 miles south of Moscow, where she had been visitng friends.


Pirates&Diplomats said...

Let us pause for a moment and reflect on the fact that *fake* Red Army logos are considered a "national cultural treasure" in Russia.

Hell, 99% of the crap on the street is not of Soviet, but post-Soviet origin. Whole factories churn this stuff out for the tourists.

She must have pissed some one off at customs.

Jennifer said...

Sounds like a ploy for relaiming chunks of former Soviet Republics. I mean, seriously, aren't reactors and block-housing developments Soviet "cultural treasures"?

Джон said...

Those bastards tried to take my garmoshka, too! If it wasn't near the end of the customs officer's shift - and I had 30 rubles to my name - that asshole at Koltsovo would have snagged my beautiful dvuryadnaya garmoshka! Blah blah treasures blah blah cultural blah blah documents, i almost thought he was serious until he asked how much money I had on me.

Pirates&Diplomats said...

Yeah, I don't think this girl knew the drill.

RoJe said...

well, i wouldnt discount the possibility that yes indeed she bought smth from the street that could happens to have value actualyl. It is required to get a permit when trying to export artifacts from the country - that is the case in Bulgaria too. It is requirement for everyone regardless of natioinality.
I can sell you on the street "soviet artifacts" that are actually national cultural treasure since my grandfather recieved several awards that are considered as "national treasure" evenif i dotn consider them as such. no question there's fullblown corruption going on in Russia but ever think that there might be some validity to these claims? It's the tourist responsibility to clear the purchases for customs and not knowing the law isnt excuse for breaking it!