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Kremlin Undergoing Major Renovation to Lure Tourists

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (2nd R) meets with Moscow's Mayor Sergei Sobyanin (R) and other officials on the territory of the Kremlin in central Moscow.

The Kremlin's historic building complex in the heart of Moscow is undergoing a series of changes to make it more accessible to tourists, and the presidential administration's unused offices may be torn down to restore the world heritage site's "historic look."

Most of the presidential administration has already been moved outside the Kremlin as part of the ongoing renovation project, and President Vladimir Putin has declared that their offices will remain outside the compound, property manager Lt. Gen. Sergei Khlebnikov said in an interview published Tuesday.

Now there is the question of whether the Kremlin Presidium, which housed the administration, will be torn down to reconstruct a pair of monasteries and a church that were demolished by the Soviets, Khlebnikov told the government's official newspaper, Rossiiskaya Gazeta.

Putin said last month that he would prefer to restore the Kremlin's "historic look," with those monasteries and church, but that such a decision could only be made with the approval of the architectural community and UNESCO, which has designated the compound a world heritage site.

Also, the president plans to keep his official residence within the Kremlin, where he "has everything necessary for the work of the head of state. … It would be unwise to give that up," Khlebnikov told Rossiiskaya Gazeta.

Khlebnikov added that the changes will help tourism: "There will be less government cars, as well as less restrictions for tourists."

See also:

Putin Wants Monasteries, Church Rebuilt in Kremlin

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