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    Luxury Russia-shaped island to appear in Black Sea by 2014

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    Dutch architect Erick van Egeraat has designed a Russia-shaped luxury island to be created in the Black Sea near Sochi by 2014, when the city hosts the Winter Olympics, his Moscow office said Monday.

    MOSCOW, September 24 (RIA Novosti) - Dutch architect Erick van Egeraat has designed a Russia-shaped luxury island to be created in the Black Sea near Sochi by 2014, when the city hosts the Winter Olympics, his Moscow office said Monday.

    "At an investment forum in Sochi on September 21, Erick van Egeraat presented an architectural design of his project, Federation Island," the architect's spokesman said. "It derives its name from the planned shape of the coastline, which will resemble Russia's boundaries."

    According to the plans, the 250-hectare island, to cost an estimated 155 billion rubles (over $6 billion), will have two marinas, religious centers, roads, parkland and artificial rivers, mimicking Russia's major rivers.

    The island will be conveniently located 13 km (8 miles) from the airport and 14 km (8.6 miles) from the railroad terminal in the resort city. It is planned to be built in 2008-2013.

    Designed as a private project, the island has attracted Russian officials' attention at the forum. The acting economics minister, German Gref, mentioned it in his speech, quoting its cost at 250 billion rubles (about $10 billion).

    Van Egeraat, who is also implementing or planning a series of other projects in Russia, said a consortium of Russian and foreign companies had been created to build the island, which is similar to artificial islands that have been built in the United Arab Emirates.

    Palm Islands, the world's three largest artificial islands, are being built in the Persian Gulf to encourage tourism near Dubai, and will add 520 km (323 miles) of beaches to the city.

    The investment forum in Sochi last week was focused on future investment in the development of Sochi's infrastructure up to 2020, and the construction of sports facilities ahead of the Winter Olympic Games.

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