Moscow has become one of the leaders in Europe in preserving the cultural heritage

Moscow has become one of the leaders in Europe in preserving the cultural heritage
Except the capital of Russia, experts evaluated London, Paris, Berlin and Rome.

Moscow was recognized as one of the leaders among European capitals in the field of historical monuments protection. These conclusions were made following the findings of the study “Heritage in a Big City: a Comparative Analysis of Activities in the Field of Protecting the Cultural and Historical Heritage of Five European Capitals over the Last Five Years”, which was conducted by the international consulting company PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). The research findings were presented at the Moscow Urban Forum.

“For the first time, experts have compared the main parameters related to protection of historic buildings in the leading metropolitan areas of Europe so explicitly. The indicators for Moscow, London, Paris, Berlin and Rome over a five-year period were estimated. As it is evidenced by the study, Moscow occupies a leading position in all key areas, inter alia the scope of urban investment, control over preserving monuments, the total number and annual growth of cultural heritage sites,” Natalia Sergunina, Deputy Moscow Mayor, said.

These five megalopolises were chosen for the analysis, because they are capitals, they have a high concentration of cultural heritage sites. Also, these cities play an important role in the economic and social development of their countries.

According to the study, Moscow is a leader in terms of state allocations for preserving the cultural heritage: from 2015 to 2019, over 1.4 billion euros were allocated from the budget. This is 2.5 times more than the second-placed Paris (581.8 million euros), and 6.5 times more than Rome (211.5 million euros), taking the third place.

There are now 19.6 thousand cultural heritage sites in London, in Moscow - about 8.3 thousand, along with the identified sites, and in Berlin - 8.2 thousand ones. At the same time, Moscow demonstrates the largest increase in the number of cultural heritage sites: over the past five years, their number has increased by 504 items. London takes the second place as per this indicator - plus 358, Berlin takes the third one with 102 new sites.

In all cities except Berlin, protection of cultural sites is fixed at the national level. Moreover, Moscow has additionally a regional level of protection of historical sites. In Berlin, these issues are exclusively dealt with by the regional authorities - the federal state administration.

Experts singled out Moscow, London and Paris for their proactive approach to protection of cultural heritage sites. Regular face-to-face monitoring is carried out only in the Russian capital, and there is no such a practice in other compared cities. In Rome, the sites are protected using CCTV cameras, and in Berlin, checks are usually carried out at the request of the citizens.

The experts also noted development of digital platforms and applications in Moscow that help to attract citizens to the matter of preserving historical sites.

Only in Moscow and Rome there is an intermediate protection status - it is assigned to the sites before completion of the procedure for recognizing them as architectural sites. In Moscow there are over two thousand identified cultural heritage sites.

The Moscow register of historical sites is uniform for all levels and types of heritage. The list is available online; it accurately and completely describes all the data of the sites.

In Paris, London and Berlin, up to 90 percent of cultural heritage sites are privately owned. In Rome, over half of the sites are owned by the state, church or non-profit organizations. In Moscow, 65 percent of cultural sites are owned by state.

The capital of Russia ranks second after Rome regarding the number of archaeological sites and it is a leader in the number of historical manor complexes, fortifications and protected parks. In addition, Moscow has the highest proportion of buildings up to three floors among cultural heritage sites.