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Duma deputies have sent a inquiry to St. Petersburg Governor Valentina Matvienko on plans to construct the Gazprom Tower in St. Peterburg.
Photo: Nikita Infantyev
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Nov. 25, 2006
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Moscow Lashes Gazproms St. Pete Development Plans
Moscow has joined St. Petersburg in lambasting the idea of constructing a 300-meter office block for Gazprom in St. Petersburgs historic center, opposite the Smolny convent. Opponents of the construction summoned a news conference headlined St. Petersburg against Gazprom City at the Rosbalt news agency headquarters in Moscow on Friday.
The project of a skyscraper which was put on display at the Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg has caused outrage in Russias two major cities. The Hermitage Museums head Mikhail Piotrovsky has condemned the idea of building Gazproms tower and suggested the location of the New Petersburg business area outside the city center instead.

Marina Khrustaleva, chair of the Moscow Architecture Preservation Society, lashed out at the contest, calling projects of such famous architects as Frances Jean Nouvel, Dutch Rem Koolhaas, Switzerlands Herzog and de Meron, Italian Maximiliano Fuksas and U.S. Daniel Libeskind to be just on student level. David Sarkisyan, director of the State Shchusev Museum of Architecture, said disputes around the Gazprom City are a crucial test for Russias civil society. If Russian society rebuffs Gazproms plans, chances to preserve cultural heritage of our ancestors will be high, he said.

Mikhail Milchik of the Federal Cultural Heritage Preservation Council reiterated that the Gazprom City project runs against St. Petersburgs strategy of cultural heritage preservation. Current regulations permit the construction of a building of only up to 42 meters in the city center without expertise and 48 meters with expertise approval. However, the city government is expected to adopt new construction rules which may change the situation in favor of Gazprom. Milchik reminded that St. Petersburgs historic center is an entry of the UNESCO World Heritage List, and the construction may strip Russias second-largest city of this title.

President of the Russian Union of Architects Yury Gnedovsky says that rules of construction terders have been violated as terms of the tender have not been kept in secret. Gnedovsky has promised to ask the International Union of Architects to help settle the dispute.

www.kommersant.com

All the Article in Russian as of Nov. 25, 2006

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