Russians invited to buy or rent estates
MOSCOWThe Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky has begun a campaign to auction pre-revolutionary estates and mansions to save them from potential ruin, the Art Newspaper has reported. He said that architectural monuments in the worst condition would be a priority and would be offered for long-term rent or even sale to those who can demonstrate that they are committed to restoration.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia rejected the idea of property restitution to descendants of the noble families and wealthy merchants who owned such homes before the Bolshevik Revolution. Medinsky said that the government had failed to follow through on previous plans to manage the properties and that the situation had reached a crisis point.
“There are 150,000 [architectural] monuments in the country,” said the minister. “Some of them are in private hands, a majority are in state hands. The monuments are in [a] horrific condition,” he added.