Originally published 07/23/2013
Cultural heritage activists in Moscow, St Petersburg and across the rest of Russia are warning that a string of important architectural monuments are falling prey to a dangerous combination of Soviet-style brutality and capitalist greed, and might soon be irrevocably lost.Landmarks such as the Bolkonsky House, which inspired scenes in Leo Tolstoy’s novels, and a seminal 1850s roundhouse railway depot that inspired similar depots in Europe and the US are hanging by a thread, they say, or have, for all practical purposes, been destroyed.Their warning calls also underscore a growing activism, or at least a sense of an active preservationist community linked by social networking resources such as Facebook.When Yevgeny Sosedov—a 25-year-old preservationist who has been battling for years to save Arkhangelskoye, the Yusupov family estate—recently raced to save an historic avenue of linden trees nearby, he was surprised by the intensity of the reaction....
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