KOMMERSANT (Russia)

Worldcrunch

MOSCOW - Russians have long griped about the time it takes packages to arrive in the mail, complaining about government bureaucrats and not-always diligent postmen. But blame for a recent deepening of postal delays falls squarely on the shoulders of...the Internet.

Due to an explosion in online purchases - especially those e-purchases shipped from out of the country - the Russian post office is dealing with a serious backlog, with more than 500 tons of international packages sitting at customs points and airports in Moscow alone, Kommersant reports.

This backlog has international reverberations, as the German post office has send their Russian counterparts official complaints about the excessive wait times for German trucks handing over mail to the Russian post office, Kommersant reports.

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A Moscow post office (A. Savin)

Part of the problem is the boom in Internet shopping. In 2009, there were approximately 2.3 million packages ordered online in Russia, while in 2012, there were 17 million. The post office has not been able to keep up. It doesn’t help that the customs service, where much of the delays take place, is supposed to reduce the number of personnel by 20 percent between 2011 and 2013.

What is the solution for those waiting for packages to arrive? Patience, the Russian post office says.

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Society

How The Top Collector Of Chinese Art Evades Censors In New Hong Kong Museum

Swiss businessman Uli Sigg is the most important collector of Chinese contemporary art. In 2012, he gave away most of his collection to the M+ in Hong Kong. Now the museum has opened as the Communist Party is cracking down hard on freedom of expression. So how do you run a museum in the face of widespread censorship from Beijing?

''Rouge 1992'' by Li Shan at the M+ museum

Maximilian Kalkhof

The first test has been passed, Uli Sigg thinks. So far, everything has gone well. His new exhibition has opened, visitors like to come, and — this is the most important thing for the Swiss businessman — everything is on display. He has not had to take an exhibit off the list of works.

The M+ in Hong Kong is a new museum that wants to compete with the established ones. It wants to surpass the MoMa in New York and Centre Pompidou in Paris. Sigg, a rather down-to-earth man, says: “There is no better museum in the whole world.” That is very much self-praise, since Sigg’s own collection is central to the museum.

The only problem is: great art is often political; it questions the rulers. Since the Chinese Communist Party has been cracking down on critics and freedom in Hong Kong, the metropolis is a bad place for politics and art. So how did the collection get there?

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