A poster for a gay club in Kazakhstan has sparked controversy for featuring two 19th Century cultural figures.

The advert for the gay club in Almaty, features Kazakh composer Kurmangazy Sagyrbayuly and Russian poet Anexander Pushkin engaged in a kiss.

The RFE reports that 20 activists filed a lawsuit earlier this week against the advertising agency which created the poster. The lawsuit said the advert “insults both Kazakhs and Russians.”

Police have also registered an official complaint, and a descendent of Kurmangazy has also threatened to sue the agency for damages.

A social media backlash also condemned the advert.

One of the artists involved in creating the advert, was quoted to have said: “One can be proud of this work. First of all because it works: people understand and remember the address. Secondly, it is a brave work, and in the case of the gay movement, traditionally living on the edge, it is more than accurate and justified.”

The poster also won an award for advertising firm Havas Worldwide Kazakhstan, however the firm later apologised, and said it would no longer display it in public.

Despite homosexuality being decriminalised in 1998, anti-gay attitudes are still common in Kazakhstan.