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19.04.2006
The Shukhov Tower is part of the World heritage – this is the conclusion made by the participants of the international scientific conference “Heritage at Risk. The preservation of the XX century architecture and the World heritage”, which started its work in Moscow on April 18.
 
Shukhov Tower in Moscow

Alexander Kudryavtsev, President of the Moscow Institute of Architecture (MARHI) informed journalists that during its first working day the conference adopted the text of the Moscow declaration on the preservation of the XX century cultural heritage, which beside seven Moscow architectural masterpieces having the status of the World heritage object also includes the Shukhov Tower. “These masterpieces belong not only to Moscow and Russia, but are the property common to all mankind”, — Alexander Kudryavtsev emphasized.

About 170 specialists, including 120 foreign guests from 30 countries of the world, participate in the conference. The participants include: Francesco Bandarin, Director of the UNESCO World Heritage Center, Bonnie Bernam, President of the World Monuments Fund, Michael Petset, President of the ICOMOS International (International Monuments Council), Maristella Kashiato, President of the Russian Academy of Architecture and Construction Sciences, Alexander Kudryavtsev, President of the Moscow Institute of Architecture (MARHI), Yuriy Gnedovskiy, President of the Union of Architects of Russia, Vladimir Sokolovskiy, Chairman of the Committee for the cultural heritage of Moscow, Natalia Dushkina, Professor of the Moscow Institute of Architecture, the founding member of ICOMOS, representing Russia in the board of this international organization.

“Russia is lagging in preservation of monuments of the modern architecture”, — ascertained Professor Jean-Luis Kohen, Head of the Le Corbusier Foundation. According to him, many monuments that the participants of the conference have seen in Moscow are in horrific state and need to be rescued from destruction.

“We will reflect this situation in our next ICOMOS report, — announced John Stabbs, Vice-president of the World Monuments Fund. – But we hope that in the subsequent report it will be possible to reflect positive changes in the condition of these buildings’. “We hope that our conference will draw attention to the state of these objects”, — he noted. In this respect, John Stabbs also emphasized that the modern approach to the restoration of such buildings supposes that the so called “euro-repair” should be given up in favor of restoration technologies with the use of authentic materials and with maximum preservation of the genuine components of the building. According to John Stabbs, the restored monuments of Russian avant-garde may have high attraction from tourists in the future, and also thanks to the interest to them of architects from all over the world may favor Russian architecture to increase its international influence.

The participants of the press-conference unanimously noted that it is important to include the monuments of Russian avant-garde into the list of the UNESCO World heritage. At the same time, as Jean-Luis Kohen informed , it is possible that the Tsentrosoyuz building in Myasnitskaya Street in Moscow, built according to the Le Corbusier project, may be included into the list of the World heritage together with other constructions of this master represented by France.

During the press-conference its participants repeatedly emphasized the decisive influence of the public opinion on the destiny of monuments. In the opinion of Michael Petset, the salvation of the architectural masterpieces in Moscow could be favored by the creation of the public movement, which could be headed by an influential person – the Moscow Mayor or some reach people, who will invest into the restoration of heritage. With that, he noted, ICOMOS International through its grant programs can render financial support to Moscow or to Moscow businesses, which will undertake the realization of the project on the restoration of this or that monument.

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