Peo­ples’ Friend­ship Arch be­comes a rain­bow

Kyiv Post - - National -

In prepa­ra­tion for the 2017 Euro­vi­sion Song Con­test, Kyiv de­cided to spruce up the grey, Soviet-era Peo­ples’ Friend­ship Arch. It is now a rain­bow-col­ored Arch of Di­ver­sity in keep­ing with the motto of this year’s Euro­vi­sion — “Cel­e­brate Di­ver­sity.” Kyiv’s util­ity work­ers started at­tach­ing brightly col­ored sticker pa­per on the arch on April 25. Mun­ci­pal au­thor­i­ties said they would re­move it when the con­test ends on May 14. How­ever, the new de­sign tig­gered wave of crit­i­cism in so­cial me­dia, with peo­ple ac­cus­ing the mu­nic­i­pal au­thor­i­ties of pro­mot­ing the rights of the les­bian, gay, bi­sex­ual and trans­gen­der com­mu­nity. Ac­tivists from the fringe Right Sec­tor move­ment blocked the arch on April 27 and did not let the util­ity ser­vices to fin­ish the rain­bow. Zo­ryan Kis, a board mem­ber at Kyiv Pride, or the Equal­ity March which sup­ports the rights of LGBT peo­ple in Ukraine, told the Kyiv Post that the scan­dal is more ev­i­dence that most Ukraini­ans are not ready to dis­cuss gay is­sues. Kyiv Mayor Vi­tali Kl­itschko said in in­ter­view with 1+1 TV Chan­nel on May 4 that the war­ring sides found a com­pro­mise — the rest of the arch will be dec­o­rated with tra­di­tional Ukrainian or­na­ments. “There will be no con­flicts,” he said. (Volodymyr Petrov)

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