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Moscow authorities consider alternate site for Madonna concert

MOSCOW, August 22 (RIA Novosti) - Security concerns have prompted Moscow authorities to consider an alternate site for Madonna's upcoming concert, a government official said Tuesday.

The pop diva is expected in Moscow September 11. Madonna's show, part of the controversial 'Confessions on a Dance Floor' tour, was originally supposed to take place in front of the Moscow University building, on a hill overlooking the capital.

"The concert venue was among the issues considered at a session of Moscow's Anti-Terrorist Commission August 19," Nikolai Kulikov said.

He said the large number of expected fans - up to 250,000 - could mean the concert would have to be moved from Vorobyovy Gory to the more spacious Tushino airfield in northwest Moscow.

Kulikov said authorities in Rome, where Madonna has already performed, also had to transfer the performance from a city square to a stadium.

"We have considered holding the concert at the Luzhniki stadium, but it will be hosting an international football match," he said.

However, Kulikov assured ticket holders that the concert would not be canceled under any circumstances, even in light of a bomb attack at a Moscow market Monday that claimed at least 10 lives.

"Life must go on despite these blasts," he said. "No events planned for City Day are going to be canceled either, but security will be tighter."

Moscow celebrates its birthday the first weekend of September. This year the city will turn 859. The only time celebrations were canceled was following the Beslan school massacre in September 2004, which left 331 people, including 186 children, dead.

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