Historical Buildings Under Threat in Kiev

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A rally was held recently in the capital city of Kiev, Ukraine to protect old buildings. The city's old mansions are known to be periodically demolished. Our correspondents bring us this report.

Medieval knights are defending Kiev at the walls of Ukraine's Ministry of Culture. Rally participants say the authorities do not protect the city's ancient buildings, but destroy them instead.

Mikhail Andreev is a guide for Kiev. He has been taking pictures of his native city for 30 years. He says many old buildings have gone out of his memory.

[Mikhail Andreev, Rally Participant]:
"They begin to evict people gradually, and then they hang a mesh around the building and the building is dead. All communications are severed and it is clear that everything has become cool. The walls rattle, the floors collapse, and the building dies quietly."

According to the protesters, condemning buildings is one way to get rid of them. Another way to bring about the same fate is to remove buildings from the register of sample architecture.

This rally was called to protest the demolition of a 1909 mansion in Podil, one of the oldest districts of Kiev.

The building was razed to the ground on the night of December 30th.

Activists blame the Ministry of Culture for the demolition of the building, because mansions are not included in the register of sample architecture.

The city's main architect says there is another reason as well.

Rally participants say any old building could be under threat of demolition.

They are calling for a public meeting to determine whether or not a building is entitled to be in the register of sample architecture.

Activists are also demanding that the owners of the old houses be brought to justice for allowing them to be condemned.

NTD News, Kiev, Ukraine

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