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Two arrested in protest against RMJM's Gazprom tower

Two Russian activists have been arrested after protesting against the RMJM Architects’ proposed 394m-tall Okhta Tower in St Petersburg.

According to reports in the local media, 300 protesters started a rally on the site earmarked for the 67-floor skyscraper, which is being built for Russian energy giant Gazprom.

The activists were met by more than 20 police officers who attempted to stop the rally, claiming it was ‘unsanctioned’, despite organisers' assertions that an application to hold the protest had been submitted.

The protest is the latest storm to take place over RMJM’s proposals. The scheme was the subject of another protest last year, after world heritage body Unesco said the scheme could threaten the city’s World Heritage Status.

But RMJM design director Tony Kettle claimed the fears are misguided. Kettle also said that Unesco director of culture, Francesco Bandarin, said RMJM’s presentation ‘dispelled any myths around the scheme’.

But Bandarin has since denied the comments and any claims of a possible Unesco U-turn on the £1.2 billion scheme.

A Russian governement report on St Petersburg is expected to be handed over to Unesco by the beginning of next month.

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