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  Wednesday, November 20, 2019
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Donation to Fund for Restoration and Development of the Oranienbaum Estate
The Board of Trustees of the Fund for Restoration and Development of the Oranienbaum Estate, outside St. Petersburg, held its maiden session at the Smolny Palace Saturday. St. Petersburg governor Valentina Matviyenko runs the Board with the help of two co-chairs-federal Economic Development and Trade Minister Gherman Gref and Sergei Frank, Advisor to the Prime Minister. "Thanks a lot to large sponsors, but we will be only too glad to accept small contributions, as well. I personally am going to donate my monthly salary to the Fund," Mr. Gref said at today's board session. He noted that Oranienbaum is today one of St. Petersburg's least developed suburban estates, and needs heavy investment. If the plans to restore the Oranienbaum museum are put into effect, the town will get new jobs and tax revenues, enabling it to become one of St. Petersurg's most attractive suburbs, he said. As the minister pointed out, the federal government and City Hall will not be able to cope all by themselves and that the business community should be engaged in the effort, too. He stressed the importance of the Fund's operations being absolutely transparent to the public. The project will look trustworthy and attractive to the business community only if the Fund's work is open and transparent, he said. "I am sure we will follow through on the project," he said emphatically. Mr. Gref supported the idea of integrating Oranienbaum into the Peterhoff estate, describing it as feasible. He then went on to underline the importance of restoring historical and artistic monuments to their original appearance. "We won't press anyone to contribute to the project, but we will try, by way of personal example, to convince people that this is a worthy cause," Mr. Gref said. Those who put money into such projects will earn due respect with the community, he added. Speaking of the Fund's priorities for 2004, its President,Kirill Krutikov, singled out feasibility studies for the restoration and renovation of the Oranienbaum estate, topographic and land surveying, clearing of the ground from explosives, and environmental works. He also reported that along with government allocations, the project will get an additional 60 million rubles (about 2 million dollars, on current rates) from the Fund founders. According to him, four-party agreements have been drafted and signed on each type of work already, and finances have been earmarked for the purpose. The Oranienbaum Fund has been set up with a view to supporting the renovation and development of this former imperial palace
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