President Vladimir Putin has suggested rebuilding inside the Kremlin two monasteries and a church that were torn down during the Soviet era, Interfax reported Thursday.
At a meeting Thursday with Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin and Kremlin curator Sergei Khlebnikov, Putin said the plan would only be realized if it receives support from both the public and UNESCO.
"We need to discuss this issue with Moscow's architectural community and get it approved by UNESCO," Interfax cited Putin as saying. The Kremlin, built between the 14th and 17th centuries, is a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The plan would involve tearing down a building currently used for administrative purposes, the 14th corpus, to make room for the monasteries and church. The 14th corpus has been under restoration since 2011, and developers missed their expected completion time after encountering difficulties. The delays have prompted the city government to consider whether or not it would be more expedient to change the development plan altogether and tear the corpus down.
Putin also expressed support for Sobyanin's idea to allow tourists to walk through the Kremlin from the Spassky Gate, which is currently closed off.
Dmitry Shvidkovsky, rector of the Moscow Architectural Institute, was quoted by Interfax as saying it would take up to two years to devise a development plan for the project suggested by Putin and get it approved with UNESCO.