July 19, 2012
By Sophia Kishkovsky from The Art Newspaper
Dynamo Stadium, before demolition
Preservationists are voicing growing concerns about Moscow’s architectural heritage and the state’s role in ensuring it survives. The controversial destruction of monuments has contributed to recent anti-government protests in Russia, even though a number of preservationists believe that Moscow’s authorities are doing a better job of saving landmark buildings under Sergei Sobyanin, who was elected as the city’s mayor in 2010, than under his predecessor Yuri Luzhkov, who was notorious for allowing historical architecture to be demolished.
The disputed sites include two that are now controlled by the state-owned VTB Bank: Dinamo Stadium, which is being redeveloped as a potential venue for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in a project worth at least Rb20bn ($635m), and Detsky Mir, a children’s store in Lubyanka Square, next door to the former headquarters of the KGB.