‘Crime and Punishment’ on the Moscow Subway

Travel Blog  •  Eva Holland  •  08.10.10 | 3:17 PM ET

NPR explores the controversy surrounding one of Moscow’s famously decorated subway stations—Dostoevskaya, the station that honors Fyodor Dostoevsky. Apparently, some Russian psychologists are concerned that the darkness of the station’s artwork may inspire violence or suicide. David Greene sets the scene:

The walls are gray and bare, except for murals capturing scenes from Dostoevsky’s famous novels: Brothers Karamazov, The Idiot, and of course, Crime and Punishment, the book where Dostoevsky digs into the mind of his lead character, Raskolnikov, exploring a young man’s path to murder…

The fictional character—poor, desperate for money to help his family and mentally tortured—ends up killing two women. And it’s all depicted in a mural right on the subway platform in which Raskolnikov holds an ax over a woman’s head, while a corpse lies on the ground.

The tale itself is stirring, and the underground tunnel and echo of subway trains make it even creepier.


Eva Holland is co-editor of World Hum. She is a former associate editor at Up Here and Up Here Business magazines, and a contributor to Vela. She's based in Canada's Yukon territory.


2 Comments for ‘Crime and Punishment’ on the Moscow Subway

Ramayana 08.10.10 | 4:04 PM ET

Very gray indeed, but much smarter than I expected.

World Travel Polly 08.16.10 | 8:58 AM ET

I’m surprised nobody thought of this earlier.

Yes, we should get rid of any art, literature or music that might possibly have a negative effect on someone who is already unstable.

Forget about the millions of people who receive enjoyment from it.

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