Off beat culture in Moscow

The lifting of political oppression in the former USSR opened the doors to an almost vulgar, if understandable, indulgence in the fruits of capitalism which changed the face of urban life. Muscovites set about enjoying life to the full and Moscow is now a vibrant city with an exciting night life that would likely make pre-Perestroika Soviet leaders turn in their graves.

The cultural scene has also branched out with fashionable cafés and galleries springing up alongside the city’s iconic buildings. One not to be missed is the cavernous Garage Centre for Contemporary Culture (garageccc.com/eng). Housed in a former bus depot, it is ‘one of Russia’s first attempts to present modern art with a modern sensibility’, reports the New York Times.

It has the advantage of being run by Dasha Zhukova, girlfriend of the Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, and in the two years since it opened, it has already attracted a host of major exhibitions of sculpture and paintings, including pieces by heavyweights such as Mark Rothko. Moscow entry fees can be expensive, so with ticket prices around £6, this gallery is well worth a visit.

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