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The burning of the Manezh last March went unnoticed in the West, in spite of this being the most high-profile building in Moscow to be seriously damaged in recent years. The Manezh, beside the Kremlin, dates from 1817.

The fire was seen as arson, due to the high number of such attacks by, or on behalf of, Moscow developers each year. The outrage was such that Luzhkov ordered its rebuilding in time for the 60th anniversary of the end of the Great Patriotic War (Second World War).

Men are working on a project that employs modern materials and techniques to recreate its great roof, with a concrete ring beam and laminate timbers. A farce from beginning to end, but one so typical of Moscow today.

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