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Moscow mayor vows to launch city’s first open-air archaeology museum

"My Street" is the largest urban gentrification project in the modern history of Moscow
Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin  Moscow Mayor official website
Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin
© Moscow Mayor official website

MOSCOW, August 4. /TASS/. Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin has ordered to establish the first open-air archaeology museum on the Khokhlovskaya Square, Moscow, for residents and tourists, he said on Friday during an inspection of this square’s construction in Moscow’s Basmanny District under the "My Street" city improvement project.

Construction on the Khokhlovskaya Square was brought to a halt almost 10 years ago due to a unique archaeological discovery. A well preserved fragment of the White Town (Bely Gorod) wall, built almost 500 years ago, was discovered inside a pit. Moscow’s builders, historians and archaeologists considered that further work would compromise the ancient wall. Eventually, it turned out that it was technically impossible to move the archaeological finding beyond the construction site without damaging it, so the square was closed.

"Here we see the famous Khokhlovskaya Square. It was a rundown place, forsaken and flooded. An open-air archeology park is to open for the first time (on the square) where the capital’s residents and tourists will have a chance to admire old Moscow’s beauty," the mayor said.

Khokhlovskaya Square is the "pearl of Moscow," as parts of the White Town and its unique wall were dug up and discovered here, in addition to ancient artefacts, he said. According to Moscow’s authorities, a spacious amphitheater should appear on the site of the deserted construction pit. That part of the ancient White Town wall will become the square’s center of attraction.

Besides, there are plans in store to hold various cultural events after the square’s opening. "There is an amazingly open space here. About 10,000 artefacts were found under the ‘My Street’ program," Sobyanin noted.

"My Street" is the largest urban gentrification project in Moscow’s modern history. Since 2015, more than 100 streets have been reconstructed, and 89 city areas will be given a ‘facelift’ this year under the program.