Mayor bans building at historic site after clashes with public

Building work has been stopped at a site where a historical building was torn down amid clashes between security guards and activists last week.

City Hall says it wants to conduct more public hearings on the divisive project.

Masked security guards allegedly attacked and injured a number of protestors, including journalists, during the demolition stage. Only the arrival at the scene of police managed to stop the brawl in which 15 people were beaten, a TV camera broken and five photo cameras taken apart.

The activists say the developers illegally obtained the 19th-century house on Bolshoi Kozikhinsky Lane and had no right to knock it down.

“The importance of this building is that it is part of a historic courtyard that has remained almost untouched since the late 19th century,” Elena Tkach, coordinator of the Coalition in Moscow’s Defense, told RT. “We haven’t seen any documents permitting the demolition. The house is owned by a company that, according to our information, doesn’t really have the right to possess it.”

Moscow’s mayor says he hopes a compromise can be reached.

In the last 10 years, over 300 historic building have been demolished in Moscow, among them 50 protected by the state.

A recent audit showed that at least 43 percent of Moscow’s landmark sites are not being looked after properly; out of a total of roughly 4,000 monuments in Moscow, only 593 are fully protected.

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