Open letter to mayor of Moscow

Moscow February 13, 2012

To: Mayor of Moscow

Mr. S. Sobyanin


Dear Sergey Semyonovich,

On February 10, 2012 fa?ade walls demolition of cultural heritage building of regional significance DINAMO Stadium got underway (Leningrandsky Prospect, 36). There is no need to prove the value of the building which was constructed in two stages in 1927-1936 upon the project of L.Cherikover and A.Langman. It was done in 1987 when the Stadium was placed under special protection of the state. However, it is worth noting that after demolition of Kirov Stadium in St. Petersburg in 2007 DINAMO Stadium remains the last large-scale sports structure of the 1920-1930s, and it needs special solicitous attitude. When and on what grounds was the status of cultural heritage building of regional significance changed for “capital construction object” within the bounds of the “place of interest”? Such definitions are provided in Appendixes to Government Decree of the City of Moscow dated January 25, 2012 #314 “On the area boundaries acknowledgement of cultural heritage object of regional significance DINAMO Stadium, 1928, by architect L.Cherikover” and in the Government Decree of the City of Moscow #15-PP “On the confirmation of land use provisions and city-planning regulations on the territory of cultural heritage object (place of interest) of regional significance DINAMO Stadium, 1928, by architect L.Cherikover”, where it is written about “demolition of southern, northern, eastern parts of the building”. In published sources there is no information on any act of state historical-cultural expert assessment and any administrative document which change the status of DINAMO Stadium to the “place of interest”. It is doubtless that FIFA World Football Cup which will take place in Moscow in 2018 is an important event. But it cannot serve as the basis for destruction of the heritage keeping the memory about the time of football’s highest uplift in Russia. Inconformity of the Stadium’s facilities with FIFA standards indicates that it should not be used for holding high-status matches but that it should be operated and maintained as one of the city sports and cultural grounds which are in great demand today. The demolition which is underway now brings into discredit the very idea of heritage conservation. In order to satisfy investors’ needs the significant monument and the surrounding park which are the objects of public domain are being sacrificed. This demolition will be a great loss for the city and an offence to its residents. One must also think about the injury to the extra-national reputation of Russia which can be caused by this uncivilized handling with the social heritage. We strongly urge you to look into the situation and take undelayed action to stop the demolition.


Secretary General A. Bronovitskaya