The conservationist group Arkhnadzor on Wednesday announced that the planned demolition of Moscow's iconic Shukhov Tower had been cancelled, though the Communications and Mass Media Ministry warned it could still be slated for demolition in the future.
"We're not flat-out rejecting the idea of demolishing the tower, but since right now no one wants to resolve this problem holistically, we will take extreme measures to strengthen the tower," Deputy Communications and Mass Media minister Alexei Volin said, Interfax reported
Volin said that although the demolition was postponed for the time being, the tower would probably still need to be taken down within a few years.
Earlier on Wednesday, Arkhnadzor sent out a press release saying that the group had received a letter from the ministry implying that "the idea of demolishing and moving the tower to a different place is no longer relevant" following a government meeting held on June 16.
The group said the ministry had "finally admitted that the project on the demolition and transfer of the Shukhov Tower developed by the ministry was not supported by the Culture Ministry or the Government of Moscow."
The tower's potential demolition, an idea first floated in December, prompted a major outcry from preservationists who said that moving the structure would likely destroy it.
The building, located on Moscow's Ulitsa Shabolovka, was nominated for the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2006 by the UNESCO-affiliated International Council on Monuments and Sites.
At the time of its unveiling in 1922, the tower was the tallest structure in Russia at 160 meters high.
Created by architect Vladimir Shukhov, it was erected for radio broadcasting, but since that time it has fallen into disrepair.
Volin warned earlier that the tower posed a public hazard because it was falling apart, with pieces of sharp metal being sent raining down to the ground with every heavy gust of wind. Conservationists conceded that the landmark would require repairs but argued it could be done without moving the structure to a new location.