Moscow's architectural heritage in crisis
Moscow's Architecture Preservation Society (MAPS) claims almost a thousand buildings have already been lost, whether demolished to make way for new ones, or renovated with a new or altered facade.
For instance, there are real fears that the inside of the world-famous children's department store, Detskiy Mir, could be completely stripped of its original fixtures and fittings, or even that it could be completely rebuilt.
The store was designed by a Soviet architect, Aleksey Dushkin, shortly before he gave up the profession.
“It is illegal to demolish a cultural heritage site. It's a criminal offence. I have not seen any examples of this. There have been cases of sites not being on the cultural value list, and torn down, but we have created a special commission to deal with this,” said Valery Shevchuk from Moscow Cultural Legacy committee.
“Moscow does a lot of restoration around the town. During the last five or ten years around 500 important sites of great interest have been restored. They are really beautiful,” he added.