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17.09.2007
The “Shukhov tower” Foundation continues its project for the salvation of Shukhov tower on Oka River and the world’s first overhead covers-shells of V.G. Shukhov’s design in Vyksa. The delegation of German and Austrian scientists head by Professor Reiner Graefe, Director of Institute for the history of construction and protection of the architectural memorials at the University of Innsbruck (Austria) arrived to Nizhniy Novgorod in order to prepare for the repair works at the 128–meter tower-bearing of the NiGRES electric main. At same time the European scientists will take part in the development of a program for the restoration of unique steel lattice overhead covers-shells of double curvature built by Vladimir Grigorievich Shukhov over the steel-rolling workshop of Vyksa metallurgical works.
Shukhov_Oka_Towers
 
This year the “Shukhov tower” Foundation repeatedly applied to the federal and regional authorities in order to secure the state support for the preservation of the unique objects of cultural heritage built by V.G. Shukhov. And this activity began to afford. The expertise of Shukhov tower in Shabolovka, Moscow is being prepared. The expertise of high-rise tower-bearing of the NiGRES electric main on Oka River and the expertise of overhead covers-shells of V.G. Shukhov’s design in Vyksa were held in May. The condition of the memorials of industrial architecture was estimated by the competent international commission formed by the Director of Institute for the history of construction and protection of the architectural memorials at the University of Innsbruck (Austria), Professor, Doctor Reiner Graefe; Professor of the Munich Technical university Reiner Bartel; Professor of the Karlsruhe University Frans Nestmann; Professor Rolf Kramer; rector of the Nizhniy Novgorod architectural-constructional university, Professor, Doctor of technical science Evgeniy Koposov; Professor of the NNGASU UNESCO sub-faculty Tatiana Vinogradova; chief of the department of the Administration of state protection of the objects of cultural heritage of the Nizhniy Novgorod region Svetlana Zelenova and other specialists.

The salvation of the V.G. Shukhov’s heritage was supported by Valeriy Shantsev, the Governor of Nizhniy Novgorod region. The meeting of Valeriy Pavlinovich Shantsev with Vladimir Fyodorovich Shukhov, the President of “Shukhov tower” Foundation and the members of expert commission on the heritage of V.G. Shukhov in Nizhniy Novgorod region took place during the work of the international forum “Great Rivers” in Nizhniy Novgorod. During the meeting the participants discussed the plans on the restoration of V.G. Shukhov’s constructions and made the decision on the joint financing of works. The Foundation organized the fund-raising for the urgent restoration of stolen construction elements of the unique high-rise tower-bearing of the NiGRES electric main on Oka River. The restoration of the tower’s base is scheduled to be finished by the spring of 2008.

The hyperboloid lattice bearing of the NiGRES electric main passage over Oka River was built by Vladimir Grigorievich Shukhov in 1929. The tower-bearing is located on the left bank of Oka River opposite to the village of Dudenyovo, near the town of Dzerzhinsk. The 128-meter high-rise construction is a unique memorial of engineering art and is acknowledged by specialists as the most perfect design of V.G. Shukhov. The minimum amount of metal was used for one unit of the tower’s height, three times less than for the height unit of the Eifel tower in Paris. By the end of XX century only two high-rise Shukhov bearings of the NiGRES electric main passage over Oka River out of six ones remained. In 1997 by the decision of the Legislative Assembly of Nizhniy Novgorod region these towers-bearings were declared the objects of cultural heritage protected by state. In 2005 one of the protected 160-ton bearings was stolen for scrap metal. 16 steel joists of the base out of 40 to the height of over five meters of the last remaining bearing of the NiGRES electric main and part of the lower steel ring girdling the base were stolen. So far, the enormous margin of safety of the V.G. Shukhov’s construction allows the tower to survive despite the loss of more than the third part of the base bearing structures. Today the plan of measures for the preservation of tower has been developed and there is a hope that by spring the construction will be repaired. The financing of the tower’s base repair is done by the “Shukhov tower” Foundation, the administration of Nizhniy Novgorod region and Professor Reiner Graefe. It is possible that European Union and UES of Russia, for which the tower has been working for more than 70 years, will take part in the final restoration of the tower-bearing as well.

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