A Russian MP has demanded that a naked picture of Apollo on a banknote be removed, in case it turns children gay.

Liberal Democratic Party MP Roman Khudyakov has written to the country’s Central Bank, calling for changes under the country’s ‘gay propaganda’ law to the 100 rouble note – worth about £1.70 – which features a statue of Apollo.

He said: “You can see clearly that Apollo is naked, you can see his genitalia.

“I submitted a parliamentary request and forwarded it directly to the head of the central bank asking for the banknote to be brought into line with the law protecting children and to remove this Apollo.”

In the letter, he complained that “intimate parts of the body” were visible on the banknote, which he says should have an “18+” rating under the anti-gay law.

He said: “As bills of that denomination often get into the hands of children as pocket money, I strongly request your help in changing the design of the banknote or otherwise bringing it into accordance with current legislative regulations.”

The real statue of the Greek god – at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow – was itself censored in 2011, when it was covered up with a fig leaf.

Lawyer Pavel Ivchenkov said: “The 100-ruble bill with a picture of Apollo is essentially a print product and can in fact be considered as ‘information of a pornographic nature’.

“That is, it can be regarded as ‘information containing a graphic depiction or description of human genitalia’.”

Apollo had many gay lovers, including Hyacinthus and Cyparissus.