Report: Moscow's architecture in crisis

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MOSCOW -- Russian and foreign preservationists expressed alarm Monday at the destruction of Moscow's historic and architecturally significant buildings as the Russian capital undergoes massive development fueled by the country's economic boom.

''We have come into the phase of continual and daily changing of the city environment,'' Marina Khurstaleva of the Moscow Architecture Preservation Society told a news conference. ''It's really a very critical situation.''

A report released during the news conference, titled ''Moscow Heritage at the Crisis Point,'' detailed buildings destroyed or under threat. The changes come as developers undertake huge projects as Russia's oil-driven economy soars and real-estate prices reach levels rivaling those of Tokyo and New York City.

Some projects, like the Moscow City development which is to include Europe's tallest building -- a 1,115-foot-high structure -- are rising on disused land. But others have taken the place of buildings well-known to both architectural historians and to tourists.

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