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6th February 2006

Dear All
Received from a member
Best wishes

If you travel to Moscow regularly you will be aware of how quickly the city has changed in recent years. Office buildings and residential apartment blocks ("new homes for New Russians") in a variety of hybrid and eclectic styles seem to sprout up before one's very eyes and compete for dominance of the Moscow skyline.

Have you ever thought about what all this construction is displacing? In a real estate market in which corruption is rife and where a culture of short-term profit takes precedence over urban planning and conservation, over 1000 historic buildings have been demolished in the last 5 years alone. Moscow's rich architectural heritage is under threat.

If you are interested in Moscow's architecture and concerned about its future, please come to an illustrated lecture on "Moscow under Threat" at the Royal Geographical Society on Thursday 23rd February.

Former Moscow Times correspondent and founder of the Moscow Architecture Preservation Society (MAPS) Clem Cecil, and architectural historian and curator at the Hermitage Alexei LePorc will discuss the architectural treasures of Moscow and how they are being destroyed by the current regime of lawlessness and indifference. They will also offer a fascinating insight into the property development market but also demonstrate how the determination of a small group of committed campaigners can begin to moderate the worst excesses of the property tycoons.

As such, this inspiring tale of saving Moscow's architecture is also the story of Russia's burgeoning civil society attempting to redress the balance of private interest and public good.

The lecture will take place on 23rd February 2006 at 7:00pm at the Royal Geographical Society, Kensington Gore, London SW1. Tickets cost £15 and may be purchased by calling 020 7730 5344. The evening is being hosted by the World Monument Fund and is supported by the Pushkin House Trust. This will be a fund-raising event to raise funds for MAPS to commission an international report by SAVE Europe's Heritage on the risks to Moscow's architectural heritage.

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