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Muscovites Seek To Thwart Hotel Construction Project

MOSCOW -- Residents of Moscow's Patriarch's Ponds district have staged two protests over the past four days to delay construction of a seven-story hotel, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

On October 22 and again today, they blocked the construction site.

Yelena Tkach, coordinator for an informal group that seeks to preserve Moscow's historic districts, told RFE/RL that permission for the construction of the hotel and an underground parking lot was granted on the basis of falsified documentation. Several 19th-century buildings have been demolished to clear the way for the construction.

The Patriarch's Ponds district of Moscow features prominently in Mikhail Bulgakov's acclaimed novel "The Master And Margarita," which was heavily censored under the Soviet Union.