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At least 10 Russian circuses to undergo complete overhaul in 2014

Russia's minister of culture revealed plans in an exclusive interview to Itar-Tass

MOSCOW, February 10. /ITAR-TASS/. The Russian Ministry of Culture has invested about 3 billion rubles ($86.3 million) in renovation of Russian circuses, Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky told Itar-Tass on Monday.

“In Soviet times, we used to have a unique circus system, which had a good educational basis and methods of training circus performers. We know what’s happened to it but let’s see what we have managed to achieve to make things better and outline future plans which we are going to implement without fail,” the Russian culture minister said in an interview with Itar-Tass on Monday.

Many Russian circuses have seen changes in their top leadership in recent years. Medinsky noted that new, energetic and well-known circus professionals such as the Zapashnyi Brothers, clown Vyacheslav Polunin and circus performer Farzana Khalilova, for example, have been appointed to top positions in circus leaderships.

According to the minister, the state allocated 2 billion 785 million rubles in the circus industry in 2013 for the first time in the past 20 years.

“The Big Moscow Circus on Vernadsky Avenue received 311 million rubles for capital repairs of part of its building which has been in critical condition for the past few years; 644 million rubles have been allocated for the renovation of the Big St. Petersburg Circus, which is closing for repairs this year,” Medinsky emphasized.

The Russian State Circus Company has allocated about 1 billion rubles for overhaul repairs of circuses in six Russian cities: Sochi, Ivanovo, Nizhniy Tagil, Chelyabinsk, Tula and Ryazan. The repair works will start in spring-summer this year.

“It is particularly important that we are renovating them in the Year of Culture, thus preserving the history of Russian circus art in general,” Medinsky emphasized.

Besides, four circuses — in Samara, Omsk, Penza and Kursk — will be rebuilt under the “Russian Culture” federal target program before the end of 2014.

“In a bid to estimate the extent of repairs which should be carried out, the Russian Culture Ministry and the Russian State Circus Company have inspected 18 circuses that are in critical condition. At least ten of them will be repaired in the next few years,” Medinsky went on to say.