Postcard from... Moscow


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The Independent Online

President Vladimir Putin has called for two monasteries and a church that were demolished between 1929 and 1930 to be rebuilt in the Kremlin, the largest overhaul of the site’s architectural landscape in nearly a century.

At a meeting on Thursday with Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin and top administrators of the Kremlin site, Mr Putin said his plan would involve tearing down a building used for administrative purposes to restore the site’s “historic appearance”. Mr Putin, who has cultivated strong ties with Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, gave no indication of the costs of construction.

The Kremlin, a fortified landmark sprawling across 28 hectares and home to the President’s office and his administration, has had many attacks in its six-century history and symbolises Russia’s enduring power.

“Here is the idea: to restore the historic appearance of the place with two monasteries and a church, but giving them, considering today’s realities, an exclusively cultural character,” the Kremlin’s website quoted Mr Putin as saying.

As the Kremlin is a Unesco World Heritage site, Mr Putin said the plan hinged on winning the support of the Russian public and Unesco. REUTERS