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St. Petersburg to Move Gazprom Tower

St. Petersburg Governor Valentina Matviyenko said Thursday that plans have been cancelled to build a glass-and-steel Gazprom Neft skyscraper that critics had said would blight the city's baroque buildings and canals.

"A final decision on the move has been make," said Matviyenko, Itar-Tass reported.

The 403-meter Okhta Center will be built at another location.

The tower caused an outcry among residents and opposition parties, the UN cultural organization UNESCO had warned the Russian government it could exclude St. Petersburg from its list of world heritage sites if the tower was built.

Matviyenko said the decision to relocate the tower was made by the city government and Gazprom. The company declined immediate comment.

"We have followed the discussion attentively and evaluated all the pros and cons, but one cannot debate forever," Matviyenko said.

"All participants in the discussion agreed that the city needs this business center for its development and for attracting investment, but agreement on the choice of a location was not reached," she said.

Matviyenko said residents would be made aware of all proposals for a new site and that the choice would not be made without their approval.

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