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Resin Agrees to Work With Preservationists

Cars traveling on Leningradsky Prospekt. Preservationists hope that the next mayor will protect the city’s heritage. Vladimir Filonov

In a sign that Moscow's next mayor may take a new approach to the city's architectural heritage, acting Mayor Vladimir Resin met with representatives from the preservation group Arkhnadzor on Friday and agreed to form a joint council to preserve historic buildings, the group said.

"It was an attempt by the authorities to establish a constructive dialogue," Arkhnadzor spokesman Konstantin Mikhailov said by telephone.

Mikhailov said former Mayor Yury Luzhkov, who was fired Sept. 28, did not met with preservationists and ignored their concerns.

During Luzhkov's 18 years as mayor, activists battled authorities over the demolition of a number of old buildings.

Mikhailov said Resin did not take or promise any action on the problems compiled by Arkhnadzor and presented at Friday's meeting.

Reform could be slow: As first deputy mayor under Luzhkov, Resin headed the city's construction sector.

But city officials agreed at the meeting to carry out conservation work on the Guryev palace until the start of winter, Arkhnadzor organizer Rustam Rakhmatullin told Interfax.

On Saturday, Arkhnadzor also urged United Russia's four nominees for Moscow's mayorship to publicly announce their platforms.

Even though the mayor will be selected by President Dmitry Medvedev and not Muscovites, the public's reaction to the candidates' stance on the city's architectural and other developments might influence his decision, Mikhailov told Interfax.

The four candidates are Sergei Sobyanin, a deputy prime minister and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's chief of staff; Transportation Minister Igor Levitin; Nizhny Novgorod Governor Valery Shantsev; and Lyudmila Shvetsova, a longtime Luzhkov deputy who oversees social policies.

Only one candidate has commented on a platform as mayor, Shvetsova. She said she would pursue social issues.

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