Litigation in Russia, Real Estate & Construction / 15.02.2021

Lawyers of Borenius Russia protected in court the possibility of adapting the Naryshkin-Shuvalov Palace for an expansion of the exhibition space of the Fabergé Museum

On June 9, 2020, the Third Cassation Court of general jurisdiction terminated a dispute over the reconstruction of the Naryshkin-Shuvalov Palace, located on Fontanka River Embankment, thus enabling the creation of a circular exhibition in the Fabergé Museum located in the palace in question.

Last year St. Petersburg rights activists petitioned to Kuibyshevsky Court of St. Petersburg to challenge a directive of the Government Committee for Historical and Cultural Heritage Management of St. Petersburg based on the reconstruction was supposed to be carried out. The directive concerned the approval of the Naryshkin-Shuvalov Palace as a protected site, where the Fabergé Museum has been located since 2013. In addition, rights activists attempted to appeal against the actions of the Committee for the reconciliation of design documentation regarding the performance of works  to expand the museum space, as well as the results of a historical and cultural expert review.

Lawyers from Borenius represented Gorod LLC, the customer of the design documentation and state historical and cultural expert review, which had performed historical and cultural research based on which the Government Committee for Historical and Cultural Heritage Management of St. Petersburg issued a directive to approve the palace as a protected site. According to the client’s project, the reconstruction was envisaged of part of the palace allocated for the expansion of the Faberge Museum’s exhibition, as was the restoration of the historical appearance of the front yard. In cooperation with lawyers of our firm, the Government Committee for Historical and Cultural Heritage Management of St. Petersburg participated in the process, while in the first two courts lawyers of Kachkin and Partners represented the interests of the right holder of the facility.

In this case, historical and cultural research as well as design decisions for reconstruction were of particular importance. In order to protect the interests of the clients, it was necessary to make an in-depth study of historical data, issues of architecture and legal aspects of the formation of protected cultural heritage sites and their preservation by adapting them for modern use.

The Third Court of Cassation upheld the findings of the first two courts that the directive issued by the Committee was legal, which allows the Museum to begin reconstruction.

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