A new law on museums has ruined the plans of greedy businessmen to turn the site where Russian troops defeated Napoleon’s army into a dacha village.
The regulation, just signed by President Medvedev, is aimed at protecting historical sites from developers. It introduces the notion of “estate museum” and allows such museums to monitor the sights located within their territories and attract tourists.
Until passage of the new law, they had no such right, which resulted in various red-tape difficulties.
The move comes after a construction company started work right next to the Borodino reservation, which saw the legendary 19th-century battle between Russian and French armies.
The Moscow region governor’s strict ban on construction work close to Borodino did not stop the developers from proceeding with their destructive activities. The governor even had to set up a special watch group to monitor the situation at the site day and night.
Officials of the Protection of Cultural Heritage committee were shocked by the incident, which prompted the law to be drafted.
The Borodino reservation is not only a major tourist attraction, but also a place of great historic interest. Every year, over one thousand enthusiasts of historical reenactments stage the legendary battle.
In total, Russia has 103 estate museum, among them Kulikovo Field, Mikhailovskoe estate where Alexander Pushkin grew up, Yasnaya Polyana (Leo Tolstoy’s residence), Tsarskoe Selo, the Peterhof Palace, and Archangelskoye estate.
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