15:37 GMT +325 September 2018
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    MOSCOW, March 15 - RIA Novosti. The building of Manezh in the centre of Moscow near the Kremlin, erected by outstanding Russian architect Osip Bove 190 years ago, caught fire approximately at 9.00 p.m. on Sunday.

    It was only by 2.15 a.m. Moscow time on March 15 that the firemen extinguished the fire but the work to clear the shambles is going on. The Manezh building burnt down practically in full, and only its walls remain.

    Deputy chief of the information directorate of Russia's Emergency Situations Ministry Viktor Beltsov told RIA Novosti that two firemen perished while putting out the blaze. One fire-fighter was hospitalized with burns at the Sklifosovsky first aid hospital.

    The Moscow Prosecutor's Office filed a criminal case on the fire in the Manezh building. Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov ruled out a possibility of an arson. "Do not look for any terrorism, any subversion here. These are causes that are surely linked with everyday-life, economic factors," he told journalists. According to the mayor, "the building will certainly be restored." Manezh, a monument of high classicism, was built in 1817 to mark the fifth anniversary of the victory in the Patriotic War of 1812. It was designed by engineer Betancour. Manezh was initially designed for holding military reviews, parades and exercises, but from 1831 to recent time was used also for hosting exhibitions, public fetes, and concerts.

    In the past few days the Manezh Central Exhibition Hall hosted exhibitions of the Tatyana Yan's paintings and an exhibition of works by artist Nikolai Belyanov, and a show of Sergei Andriyaka's water colours was being prepared.

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