Support The Moscow Times!

Academy of Sciences 'Doesn't Own' its Moscow Headquarters

RAN's current location — a prominent building known to locals as the "golden brains." Nataliya Sadovskaya

The Russian Academy of Sciences, or RAN, doesn't have ownership rights over its landmark building on Vorobyovy Gory and may lose the premises to a new federal scientific affairs agency, a news report said Friday.

The State Property Agency had been looking for a building to house the newly-minted Federal Agency for Scientific Organizations, created under a law on academic reforms adopted earlier this fall, and has discovered that the Academy's towering building on the hills above the Moscow River might be an appropriate venue, Kommersant reported.

Nicknamed "the brains" for its ornate geometrical gilded sculpture on top, the building has been occupied by the academy since its construction in the 1960s. But during an investigation over the past month, state property officials found that RAN has no legal claim to either the building or its land, and that the lot is not listed in the federal property registry.

RAN's head, Vladimir Fortov, said that the property was originally built for the academy and, as such, they have a right to occupy it. He declined any knowledge of the property investigation.

But an unidentified official at the State Property Agency said that the academy had failed to register its property rights on the basis of its long-time occupancy, and now the Federal Agency for Scientific Organizations may get its chance to claim ownership rights.

The process of registering a new owner "may take years," the official added.

The Academy had applied for a title for the building this summer, but the Moscow property registration department has turned down the request, saying that the academy failed to demonstrate grounds for its claim.

Control over scientific institutions' property is the most hotly disputed part of the recent academic reforms. Some critics say that handing over research institutions' prime real estate to government agencies will subjugate the scientific community to state bureaucrats.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more