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Activists Protest to Save Historic Nikolsky Market

Published: July 16, 2014 (Issue # 1820)



  • Protesters hold up a banner outside the Nikolsky Market on Monday.
    Photo: Sergey Chernov / SPT

  • The market’s courtyard, as seen from the fifth floor of a nearby building.
    Photo: Sergey Chernov / SPT

Preservationist activists protested Monday against what they called the ongoing demolition of the Nikolsky Market, the state-protected 18th-century building in the city’s historic Kolomna district.

Protesters claim that the vast two-floor structure is essentially being torn down to give way to a multifunctional complex featuring a Crowne Plaza hotel with an underground parking garage, all under the guise of reconstruction.

The plan includes a tall glass structure filling the courtyard of the building that would protrude 2.2 meters over the top of the building, which protesters believe will damage the historic appearance of the Nikolsky Market even if the outside walls are kept.

About 30 people came to a small park next to the site to speak about the endangered building, display placards and paintings, recite poems, distribute flyers and collect signatures for a petition to President Vladimir Putin, Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky and St. Petersburg’s Acting Governor Georgy Poltavchenko urging them to stop work on the site.

According to activists, the developer received a permit directly from the Ministry of Culture in Moscow without having both the project authorized in St. Petersburg and presenting it to local experts and residents.

Instead of careful restoration, the project involves the destruction of most of the inner walls and a total overhaul of the building using modern materials, the petition states, adding that such a reconstruction effectively means the destruction of the landmark.

“Has our city been seized by savage barbarians?” read one poster, continuing, “No! It’s the Ministry of Culture and the Committee for the Protection of Historical and Cultural Landmarks destroying the architectural landmark.”

Another placard accused Poltavchenko of the continued destruction of the city’s historic buildings. “An architectural landmark is being destroyed here. Let’s demolish everything! Vote for Poltavchenko. Let’s tear the city down to the ground!” it said.

City authorities authorized a one-hour picket without the use of sound-amplifying equipment, while the police on site prohibited the activists from placing placards either on the embankment or on the fence now surrounding the building. The activists were also warned against stepping on the grass.

The Nikolsky Market, historically called Nikolskiye Ryady in Russian, was built by an unknown architect in 1789. Located on 62 Sadovaya Ulitsa, it occupies a large area between Sadovaya Ulitsa, Kryukov Kanal, Nikolsky Pereulok and Shchepyany Pereulok.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Nov. 22


Russian Premier League-leaders Zenit St. Petersburg return from the international break to take on Kuban Krasnodar at Petrovsky Stadium this evening at 7 p.m. Tickets for the game can still be purchased on the club’s website, at the Petrovsky Stadium box office or in any of the club’s merchandise stores.



Sunday, Nov. 23


Get in the holiday spirit at today’s Winter Bazzar at the Astoria Hotel. Featuring gifts from around the world such as French eclairs, Dutch cheeses and Indian jewelry, the annual event organized by the International Women’s Club will feature 18 international stands and raise money for charity through the sales of a diversity of products that further illustrate the city’s international connections.



Monday, Nov. 24


Dr. Axel Schulte, Department Head at Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics in Dortmund, Germany, is the featured speaker at the SPIBA Industrial Committee lecture on “The Fourth Industrial Revolution: Digitalization of the Supply Chain.” The event begins at 4 p.m. at the Graduate School of Management at 3 Volkohvsky Pereulok and registration is required by Nov. 21 either by emailing office@spiba.ru or calling 325 9091.



Tuesday, Nov. 25


Tag along with AmCham during their “Industrial St. Petersburg” Tour program today. This incarnation of the ongoing series will visit Philip Morris Izhora and include an Environmental Health and Safety Committee meeting.


Find out how to expand your business east during the “Business With China” forum beginning today and concluding tomorrow at the Lenexpo convention center. The largest Russian forum dedicated to business with the Asian giant, topics that will be discussed include logistics, customs clearance, trade financing and many more.



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