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Moscow under threat

8th February 2006

Dear all,
We have just received this from the World Monuments Fund in Britain.
With best wishes


Thursday 23rd February 2006 at the Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW1 at 7pm
Clem Cecil and Professor Alexei Leporc lecture for the World Monuments Fund
Moscow is currently a building site. The latest change is the demolition of the Rossiya Hotel – are these improvements or will the city’s identity vanish in the bland new architecture? Is economic success destroying the cities identity? Russia’s new wealth has converged on Moscow and over 2,000 historic buildings have been destroyed over the last 10 years.
Many people who live in Moscow no longer recognise it, so drastic has been the change. Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov is the man who has been re-writing history and overseeing the transformation of Moscow. He has rebuilt cathedrals to give Russia new symbols for the new age, and knocked down buildings from those periods of architecture that do not fit in with his vision of Russia’s future, or past. Constructivism is one of the victims of this. It is a fascinating and bizarre story of the manipulation of memory at a turning point in Russia’s history.
Clementine Cecil, former Times correspondent in Moscow is leading a charge to save Moscow’s historic buildings from being destroyed under the bulldozer of the city’s ongoing construction boom. In May 2004 she was one of three foreigners living in Moscow to found MAPS (the Moscow Architecture Preservation Society) (www.maps-moscow.com), now being registered as a Russian charity and run together with Russians. The campaign can be compared to Venice in Peril, a British instigated movement that has led to securing the safety of that city’s heritage. Clementine lived in a building in central Moscow that was demolished in 2002, which alerted her to the reality of the destruction of old Moscow, a city she has lived in on and off for 10 years. She now devotes her time to campaigning and bringing western conservation values to Russia at a critical time for that country’s heritage. Professor Alexei Leporc is a curator at the Hermitage.
Tickets £15/£10 on 020 7730 5344 from WMF.

Will Black
Press Officer
Russian Projects Director
World Monuments Fund in Britain
2 Grosvenor Gardens
London SW1W 0DH
Tel: 020 7730 5344
Fax: 020 7730 5355

*Jung Chang RGS Wed. 11th January 2006 **SOLD OUT
*The Destruction of Moscow RGS Thurs. 23rd February 2006
TICKETS ON 020 7730 5344

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