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Moscow Activists Protest New Building Near Kremlin


Architectural preservationists say any building on the open square between the Kremlin wall and the famous Pashkov House opposite it would ruin the views of both buildings and the unique character of the area.

Architectural preservationists say any building on the open square between the Kremlin wall and the famous Pashkov House opposite it would ruin the views of both buildings and the unique character of the area.

MOSCOW -- Activists in Moscow are demonstrating against the construction of a building near the Kremlin that they say was not properly approved and would ruin the panorama of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Construction on the building on Borovitskaya Square, which is to be located next to the Kremlin entrance most frequently used by the president and other top officials, began on September 17.

A project previously approved by Moscow for a 23,000-square-meter Kremlin museum annex was canceled after stiff opposition arose.

Architectural preservationists say any building on the open square between the Kremlin wall and the famous Pashkov House opposite it would ruin the views of both buildings and the unique character of the area.

Activist Yelena Tkach from the public coalition In Defense of Moscow said the project lacked approval and contravenes recommendations made by United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

"We've looked through the fundamental documentation and we've only got the geology left to go," Tkach said. "We don't have any geology specialists with us today, but so far we've seen so many irregularities. I think we'll have to enter the construction site to halt the work."

Tkach said UNESCO had recommended removing a dome with a spire from the plans for the building to keep the height of the structure at 21 meters, but that current plans show the building to be 85 meters high.

Tkach added that there had been no cooperation by builders on archeological work at the site, which is essential for any building work to proceed in the oldest part of Moscow.
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