Turning ruins into billions

Preservation of Moscow’s cultural heritage could prove to be of considerable economic benefit, believes Norwegian specialist Terje Nypan.

As Moscow’s architectural pearls, like those in many cities around the world, are being torn down by hungry developers, the capital’s cultural activists have held a series of public discussions dedicated to cultural preservation.

Norwegian specialist Terje Nypan argues that preserving historic buildings can bring more money into the country’s economy than demolishing them to provide space for new business centers.

“Tourism is an enormous business,” Nypan told RT. “Europeans spend 30 per cent of their time consuming cultural heritage, because they go to historic places. In Europe, the tourism industry creates 20 million jobs, 10 per cent of GDP and €440 billion in turnover.”

All of these, Nypan believes, mean that cultural heritage and keeping the memory of the past are of great economic value. He stressed that it is worth preserving the entire architectural heritage, even those buildings from epochs considered “bad” or “ugly”.

“We should remember that tastes change,” Nypan told RT. “A building may be technically worthless now, but new generations will come and appreciate it. It’s different from day to day business as here value comes over time.”

More lectures on the subject will be held at Moscow’s Strelka Institute on December 3. The venue’s address is 1 Prechistenka street. For more details, visit Strelka’s official site.

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