World Cup visitors arriving at Moscow railway stations will not have to look far for the perfect spot to take a selfie, as platforms and ticket halls will soon have special labels marking out the ideal camera angle.
Green stickers of a camera image adorned with a smiley and the words “photography allowed” will be rolled out across nine mainline railway stations, in time for this summer’s football World Cup in the Russian capital, Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper reports.
There will be an average of 20 stickers per station, and at nine centimetres (four inches) in diameter they will be easily visible, according to the Moscow mayor’s office. They will mark out prime spots in waiting rooms, business centres, on platforms, and in front of the main entrances.
The Moscow department of Russian Railways says the aim is to “encourage amateur photography, and allow tourists and passengers to take that first beautiful picture right after stepping off the train”.
There are already some stickers on the platforms of Moscow underground stations, and the flagship Moscow Central Circle line will get 190 of the green camera labels this week, the Mayor’s office said.
“Many Moscow Central Circle stations are located in the historic city centre, and provide the perfect camera angle for memorable photos,” according to the railway press office.
Moscow is expecting an influx of fans for the World Cup on 14-15 July, and railways stations are gearing up to hand out maps and guidebooks to those who choose to arrive by train – primarily at the Kazan and Leningrad terminuses.
The official attitude to railway photography has changed dramatically since Soviet times, when stations were treated as strategic sites, and unwary snappers often ended up having uncomfortable conversations with secret policemen.