November 01, 2016

Note Book

President Vladimir Putin’s surprise decision to dismantle the so-called 14th Wing – a 1930s Kremlin building that housed everything from a military school to a theater to the office of Boris Yeltsin – has yielded amazing archaeological treasures. The site contains the foundations of the fourteenth-century Chudov and Voznesensky monasteries (destroyed by the Bolsheviks in 1929) and excavations are continuing.

At present, Kremlin authorities are saying the site will become a park, but there are many voices in favor of rebuilding the monasteries. Architects and archaeologists, meanwhile, would like the space to remain an archeological park, akin to places in Rome where ruins coexist with modern buildings.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin Museum is negotiating with the Federal Guard Service, which controls the territory, about introducing a new, cheaper ticket for tourists who merely seek to access the Kremlin grounds and want to skip the museum’s other offerings, like the Armory. This would grant unprecedented access to the previously restricted space.

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