Russia wants to be lavatory power again: official
Russia must regain its pre-revolutionary status as the country with the best lavatories in the world, an official said Wednesday, decrying the current state of the country's toilets.
"Before the revolution of 1917 the quality of toilets in Russia was the best of the world," Vladimir Moksunov, head of the Russian association of lavatory manufacturers, told reporters.
He recalled that on April 9, 1699, Peter the Great published a trailblazing decree which made it a punishable offence to throw sewage into the street.
"But now we do not even have official regulations for the quality of public toilets except a document from 1972 that talks about cesspits," he said, adding that Moscow had a "crying need for modern toilets".
The state of public lavatories is generally seen as a disgrace in Moscow, with citizens having to endure stinking and ageing facilities even though they usually have to pay for the privilege of using them.
In a bid to raise awareness, Moksunov proposed naming April 9 as a the national day for toilets, similar to the November 19 world day to be held later this week.
© 2010 AFP