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Bankers to Build Cabaret in St. Petersburg Entertainment Complex

Co-owner of Rossiya Bank Yury Kovalchuk and his son Boris will help create the first

high-end cabaret in Russia, according to construction contractors that are renovating the chosen venue in St. Petersburg.

The cabaret will be part of a bigger entertainment complex located in St. Petersburg's Tavrichesky Garden. The 12,000 square meter complex is the site of a former cinema and concert hall. Reconstruction is planned to be completed in October, said Alexander Vakhmistrov, head of the LSR developing company responsible for the project, Kommersant reported Wednesday.

The new complex will have a movie theater with a 340 viewer capacity, an art gallery, a VIP club and a restaurant with panoramic views of the city, according to the website of Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill, who is spearheading the reconstruction efforts.

The central feature of the complex will be the cabaret Fantanel, which the developers promised will be on par with the famous Le Crazy Horse de Paris and will include professional burlesque dancers, an original repertoire and "aesthetically refined eroticism, the ability to build striptease to the rank of high art." Channel One director Felix Mikhailov will oversee the creative direction of the cabaret.

Couture designer Valentin Yudashkin has also joined the project and plans to open a bar in the complex. Yudashkin later plans to make his Backstage Bar brand an international chain.

Rossiya Bank representatives could not comment on their co-owners' private investment plans, but said the bank was looking at the possibility of joining the project.

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