Graffiti Artists Vie For Trip to Prague

By Ksenia Galouchko / Special to The Moscow Times

Heating units, which regulate heating in the city, can be found in most courtyards and are usually squat, drab, utilitarian buildings with little architectural value.

The only people attracted to the buildings seem to be the homeless and graffiti artists whose art work has never, until today, found favor with the energy companies who own the buildings.

If you look around the city, you can see more than 300 heating units covered in graffiti — official graffiti — as part of a festival organized by the city government and energy companies as they attempt to co-opt graffiti artists.

“At MOEC [Moscow United Energy Company], we were constantly faced by the issue of vandalism of our heating units: As soon as we would repaint over inappropriate images, new ones would appear,” said Rayfa Bitkova, the head of the company’s press center. “As a result, the idea of the festival was born.”

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