Court Rules on Monuments

Court Rules on Monuments

Published: November 23, 2011 (Issue # 1684)


The Preobrazhensky Barracks were torn down after being illegally removed from the list of culture and heritage sites.

The St. Petersburg city court confirmed a statement from the city’s public prosecutor’s office annulling the Committee for the State Control, Use and Preservation of Monuments’ (KGIOP) 2004 edict to amend the list of culture and heritage sites, which removed 31 monuments from the list, the prosecutor’s office reported Friday.

The list of monuments was confirmed by the KGIOP in 2001. The prosecutor’s office found the committee exceeded its authority three years later when it excluded 31 sites from the list. The prosecutor’s office presented the proposal, which had never been put into effect, to the chairman of the KGIOP committee. It then took the proposal to the state court demanding the committee’s edict be declared invalid from the moment of its issue, to which the court agreed, reported the prosecutor’s office.

The KGIOP’s press service reported that it would appeal the ruling, but declined to give further comment. The edict recommended that the monuments be excluded from the list on the basis of expert evaluation of the sites in question. Vedomosti was unable to obtain comments from the prosecutor’s office.

Among the monuments illegally demolished and removed from the list is the building that stood at 116 Nevsky Prospekt, which has been replaced by the Stockmann Nevsky Center shopping mall. Also on the list are the Preobrazhensky Barracks at 1-3 Paradnaya Ulitsa and 14 Vilensky Pereulok, where LSR Group built the Paradny Kvartal office and residential complex. Vozrozhdenia Peterburga (St. Petersburg Renaissance) construction corporation, which is part of the LSR Group, reconstructed a building located at 10 Galernaya Ulitsa into an office complex.

Other buildings earlier recognized as monuments on the list have already been torn down, such as the Bremme factory on Vasilyevsky Island and the Krylov House located at 28 Bolshaya Podyacheskaya Ulitsa, said Alexander Kononov, vice chairman of the St. Petersburg All-Russian Society for the Preservation of Historical and Cultural Monuments (VOOPIK). He considers the court’s verdict to be good news and a lifeline for those buildings the city hasn’t yet torn down.

The Paradny Kvartal office and residential complex, whose historic architecture was recreated, is more than 70 percent occupied, Vozrozhdenia Peterburga reported. The company maintains that it acted within strict legal guidelines, and had all of the necessary documents.

Investors who have already completed projects at sites that were illegally excluded from the list have nothing to worry about, as when their projects were under construction, KGIOP’s order was in effect, said Yegor Noskov, managing partner of Duvernoix Legal. If the resolution becomes law, it will become a matter of responsibility for those who issued this order and put it into effect, said Kononov.

The federal law regarding monuments of cultural heritage was passed in 2002 and states that recognized monuments automatically keep such status until further reviewed by state experts of history and culture. These conditions however were put into effect starting in 2009, said Kononov. In other words, any expert who acted to remove a monument from the list had no legal right to so. This is what the prosecutors wanted to show, he added.

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