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No Reprieve for Architecture in Russia’s Major Cities

thumbnail.aspx.jpegWhen Yury Luzkov was the Mayor of Moscow, scarcely a day went by when we didn’t hear news of one or another architectural horror in the pipeline, or a precious piece of historical building-work being razed to the ground to make way for concrete offices blocks or the helicopter-pad sporting dachas of the super-rich.  We may have thought then that this disdain for all that was dear to conservationists was typically Luzkovian, an aesthetic idiom which reflected the sky’s-the-limit capitalism and the general bulldozer effect which befitted the man who treated the capital as if it were his own behemothic castle.  Now it seems that governor Valentina Matviyenko may adopt Luzhkov’s legacy in that other jewel in Russia’s historical crown: St Petersburg.  From the Moscow Times:

St. Petersburg Governor Valentina Matviyenko has asked the federal government to strip the city, except for its center, of its historical status.

Such a ruling would allow more commercial construction like the recently scrapped Gazprom skyscraper, whose planned site infuriated residents worried about preserving the city’s historic skyline.


Culture Minister Alexander Avdeyev has promised Matviyenko that theruling to change the city’s status would be issued, Matviyenko told anews conference Friday, Interfax reported.

St. Petersburg was put on a list of historic towns and cities in 2010,while earlier this month, on Jan. 16, the government obliged localauthorities in historic towns to seek permission from the federalculture protection watchdog, the Federal Service for the Protection ofCultural Heritage, before authorizing construction, Interfax said.

Read all here.