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    Gazprom tower project sparks anger among St. Petersburg residents

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    Half of St. Petersburg's residents are against the planned construction of a 400-meter Gazprom tower in the historic city center, according to a survey released on Friday.

    MOSCOW, October 9 (RIA Novosti) - Half of St. Petersburg's residents are against the planned construction of a 400-meter Gazprom tower in the historic city center, according to a survey released on Friday.

    Approval for the construction of the Okhta business center was given by city Governor Valentina Matviyenko late in September. The city's historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

    The telephone survey conducted by national pollster VTsIOM on October 4-7 found that just 23% of residents do not object to the skyscraper, and 7% are indifferent. The pollster did not explain the apparent discrepancy in the figures.

    Among those who oppose the skyscraper, 51-52% have lived in the city for over a decade and 55% are in their forties.

    Most St. Petersburg residents (77%) said any negative changes to the panorama of the city's historic center are inadmissible.

    However, 18% of the respondents, young people (27%) and men (23%) who have lived in the city for less than 10 years, argued that St. Petersburg is a modern megalopolis and that new projects, including skyscrapers, should not be banned.

    UNESCO's World Heritage Center first voiced its concerns over the project in 2007.

    If the skyscraper project is approved at the federal level, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee could consider the issue at its next meeting next summer, the secretary general of the Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO said last month.

     

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