Planned skyscraper triggers St Petersburg outcry

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Admired by madmen and dreamers, the elegant skyline of St Petersburg has survived revolutions, wartime bombing and the heavy hand of Soviet planners.

But its charm may not survive Gazprom and a new generation of Russian rich who are building up their own dreams -- some say nightmares -- in Russia's imperial capital.

The gas behemoth wants to build a towering office block 300 metres (990 feet) high that will dominate the skyline of Russia's second city, an elegant Baroque and neo-classical city of canals and bridges.

Plans to construct "Gazprom City" only 24 metres or so shorter than the Eiffel Tower in Paris, albeit in a forlorn industrial area, have triggered outrage among local historians who see it as the latest attack on the "Venice of the North".

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