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Days After Opening, Visitors Are Stealing Zaryadye Park’s Greenery

Kiselev Sergei / Moskva News Agency

Moscow’s newly opened Zaryadye Park has been stripped of some of its greenery as visitors have left the park with rare plants hidden in their bags, Zaryadye’s chief conservationist said.

The $245-million park near the Kremlin opened to the general public on Monday after five years of construction. That same day, the Mayor’s Office said unknown vandals had damaged a solar-panel glass dome, the park’s media center and plant life.

 “Around 10,000 [plants have been destroyed] at least,” the head of conservation at Zaryadye, Igor Safiullin, told the Komsomolskaya Pravda tabloid on Wednesday, adding the park’s security was not equipped to handle the large number of visitors.

He said visitors were spotted digging out some of the rarer plants and then leaving the park with them in their bags.

The Moscow Mayor’s Office on Thursday announced it would restrict the number of visitors to the park, imposing 15-minute intervals between groups.

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