Putin announces plans to make Kremlin more accessible to tourists
Russian President also proposes to reconstruct the Chudov Monastery and Ascension Convent
By Sophia Kishkovsky. Web only
Published online: 22 August 2014
The Russian president Vladimir Putin has announced that he wants to make the Kremlin, which was built between the 14th and 17th centuries and is a listed Unesco World Heritage Site, more accessible to tourists. During a tour of the site on 31 July with the Moscow mayor, Sergei Sobyanin, Putin agreed that the gates of the Spasskaya Tower could be opened to the public, “given that there is a large flow of tourists here”. Within days, a side gate was opened, although the main gates remain closed.
During the tour, Putin also proposed recreating the Chudov Monastery and Ascension Convent, both dating back to the 14th century and torn down by the Bolsheviks in 1929 to make way for Kremlin administration buildings. He said that the religious buildings would be restored as “cultural heritage monuments only”, but that officials would await the reaction of the public and of architects, as well as approval from Unesco, before proceeding. Heritage advocates, known for criticising the government, offered praise—some guarded, some effusive—for Putin’s royal gesture.
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