Europa Nostra campaigns for Russian cities

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St Petersburg

Europa Nostra, the pan-European Federation for Heritage, has launched a campaign to save historic architecture in Moscow and St Petersburg. The organisation is appealing to Russia' s President Putin to safeguard the historic core of St Petersburg by preventing construction of a 396m high skyscraper for the new headquarters of Gazprom, Russia's energy monopoly. The skyscraper would rise three times higher than the city's tallest spire, and 8 times higher than the surrounding building height permitted by local regulations. Europa Nostra warned the city that it faces the likelihood of deletion from the World Heritage List if it allows construction of the Gazprom tower to go ahead. The organisation also joined ICOMOS (the International Council on Monuments and Sites) and the Moscow Architectural Preservation Society in urging the Russian Minister of Culture and the Mayor of Moscow to halt the rapid pace of destruction of the architecture of the Modern Movement. ’˜The Russian Avant-garde played a key role in the development of European Modernism', says Europa Nostra. ’˜Several important buildings in Moscow are now considered by experts to be iconic examples of modern architectural and engineering culture. Today they are in a poor condition and suffer from complicated problems of ownership'.