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4 Jun, 2008 01:05

Mansion demolished in owners’ absence

A family living in the Russian city of Ekaterinburg is homeless and claim their 1930’s mansion was demolished while they were on holiday. One year later, they're still locked in a legal battle.

The Kuznetsov family say they used to live in a mansion in the very heart of the city of Ekaterinburg.

But last May they claim it vanished along with their belongings worth more than 5 million roubles (approx. $200,000).

The police concluded the demolition was legal and authorized by the city administration. The mayor insisted it was a private matter.

“Is this case really important for the city? I think it is a routine issue. We have got more vital concerns like a failed elevator in a block of apartments,” says bluntly Ekaterinburg’s Mayor Arkady Chernetsky.

One year later the Kuznetsovs, one a doctor and the other a translator, still have their address but they are homeless while a new home is being built on the site of their old one.

The police lost their papers and told them the family has to prove the house actually existed.

Other houses in the area have also been demolished over the last year.

Legal proceedings are continuing but the Kuznetsovs still do not know who is responsible for their home disappearing overnight.