3,000 protest plan to construct skyscraper in St Petersburg, Russia

Monday, October 12, 2009

Nearly 3,000 people demonstrated in Saint Petersburg, Russia on Saturday to oppose a proposition to construct a skyscraper in the city.

The demonstrators were protesting against the Okhta Center, a proposed supertall 77-story skyscraper for the gas company Gazprom measuring 400 metres (1,300 feet). They said that the tower would ruin the city's skyline, famous for its historic buildings, palaces, and canals.

Galina Safronova, 55, said that "this action will destroy my city, the city where I grew up, and the city that I want to save for my grandchildren," as quoted by the Associated Press news agency.

UNESCO, the cultural body of the United Nations, warned that the skyscraper, if built, may endanger St Petersburg's world heritage site status.

Government officials supporting the proposal, however, said that the tower would give St Petersburg a large economic boost.