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RMJM St Petersburg tower row escalates

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A skyscraper designed by British firm RMJM, intended to be built in St Petersburg, has met with opposition from around 3,000 demonstrators in Russia’s second largest city

Plans for the £1.5 billion Okhta Centre, designed for gas giant Gazprom, have been approved by the city’s council.

But protesters argue that the 400m-tall glass tower would spoil the former capital’s skyline. They chanted ‘No to the tower!’ and ‘History is more important than money!’ in the centre of the city.

One protester, Galina Safronova, aged 55, reportedly said: ‘This action will destroy my city, the city where I grew up, and the city that I want to save for my grandchildren.’

Unesco, the UN’s cultural body, said it could endanger the city’s status as a world heritage site.

Russia’s culture ministry, which has also raised objections to the construction, has asked prosecutors to investigate whether in approving the tower, the council violated federal law.

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