September 01, 2008

Travel Notes

Peter Principle?

Plans for the 396-meter-high Gazprom City skyscraper in St. Petersburg, announced a year ago, are still going forward. Public disdain was not assuaged when the project was renamed Okhta Center, and UNESCO has indicated that the city’s historic center will be removed from the World Heritage list if the tower is built. The complex is to be funded equally by the city and Gazprom. 

The latest developments bore the elements of a farce: Gazprom hired Lenfilm extras to voice approval for the project at a public hearing, paying each actor R400 for their efforts. The hirelings made up at least half of the 500 people attending the hearing, the St. Petersburg Times reported.

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