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Medieval spy room dug up in downtown Moscow may open to the public

Moscow archaeologists have discovered a secret chamber used for snooping on enemies in the 16th century

MOSCOW, April 18. /TASS/. Moscow’s municipal authorities have not ruled out that an ancient secret chamber used for eavesdropping on enemies that had been recently unearthed in downtown Moscow may open up to the public, head of the Moscow’s Cultural Heritage Department, Alexey Yemelyanov, stated at a news conference on Tuesday.

"<...> As for suggestions from some public activists and specialists in Moscow studies, it would be perhaps interesting to open this secret chamber up to visitors. I think we will look into this matter," Yemelyanov remarked.

He was commenting on a recent suggestion to open the chamber to the public from Konstantin Mikhailov, Coordinator of Arkhnadzor, an independent historic preservation society that seeks to protect Moscow’s historical monuments.

As it was reported earlier, Moscow archaeologists discovered a secret chamber used for snooping on enemies in the 16th century during archaeological excavation work in Moscow’s downtown Lubyanka district.

"Archaeologists found a small vaulted chamber in a trench dug near the Church of St. John the Divine [some 700 meters away from the Kremlin]," the capital’s chief archeologist, Leonid Kondrashev, was quoted as saying.

He said this chamber had helped Moscow’s defenders to spy on adversaries on the other side of the city’s wall.

In all, more than 150 artifacts dating back to the 16th-19th centuries were unearthed during the city’s renovation works. Among them are coins, ceramics, utensils, bullets, buttons, an arrow and a cannon ball.

Moscow’s central streets began getting a ‘facelift’ last year. This spring and summer, 87 downtown streets are slated for gentrification.