Dear Colleagues and Friends!


Dear Colleagues and Friends!

Citizens of St. Petersburg are struggling for the preservation of the archaeological monuments discovered on the Okhta Cape by the expedition of Pyotr Sorokin in 2009. Gazprom Company is their opponent. As early as on 27 January 2010 the petition of St. Petersburg scientists and scholars to the Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation in defense of the Okhta Cape monuments was signed by RAS (the Russian Academy of Sciences) Academician A. P. Derevyanko, RAS Corresponding Member R. S. Ganelin, RAS Academician N. N. Kazansky, RAS Academician I. M. Steblin-Kamensky, RAS Academician A. V. Lavrov, RAS Corresponding Member V. E. Bagno, RAS Corresponding Member A. V. Bondarko, RAS Academician B. V. Ananyich, Professor of History A. N. Kirpichnikov, RAS Corresponding Member I. P. Medvedev, RAS Corresponding Member M. A. Dandamayev, RAS Corresponding Member S. I. Nikolayev. The protest was supported by the whole city, and soon the construction of a 400-meter Gazprom tower on the Okhta Cape was cancelled. However, in June 2013 the city government announced that the decision about the construction works on the Okhta Cape would be made in the near future.

We ask you to support the Okhta Declaration and express you concerns about the destiny of the Okhta Cape archaeological monuments.

Doctor of History Sergei Beletsky, archaeologist

Poets Andrey Chernov

10 june 2013


The Okhta Declaration

The Okhta Cape archaeological excavations in St. Petersburg (2006–2010), financed – in compliance with the existing legislation – by the landowner (in this case it was Gazprom Oil corporation), produced the following results:

1. Neolithic and early Metal Age sites (5000 – 2000 BC)
2. Cape settlement belonging to the Old Russian period (before 1300 AD)
3. Landskrona Fortress (1300–1301)
4. Nienschanz Fortress (1611–1703)
5. Burial ground from the late Middle Ages (16 – 17 cc.)

Committees responsible for the preservation of monuments in St. Petersburg are inclined to think that the whole territory of the Okhta Cape has been fully examined. This does not correspond with the facts. Just the site where the Okhta Center was planned to be constructed hosts ditches and bastions of the fortresses of 13- 17 centuries; besides that, about 4000 square meters of the medieval cultural layer and over than 20000 square meters of the Neolithic and early Metal Age, covered by medieval fortifications, remain unexcavated. At the moment a part of the Okhta Cape excavations remains unpreserved, and discovered historical objects are being subject to destruction.

After the cancellation of the skyscraper construction on the Okhta Cape the landowner is planning to conduct further construction works on the territory of the cape. This will lead to the destruction of the discovered monuments. In 2011 the Committee for the State Control, Use and Preservation of Historical and Cultural Monuments of St. Petersburg (the abbreviated name in Russian is KGIOP) brought up for discussion at the Committee for Cultural Heritage (with the Government of St. Petersburg) an expert report about the monuments of the Okhta Cape which had been commissioned by the landowner. The said expert report was dismissed due to the incompetence of its authors. It is necessary to prepare a new historical and cultural report on this subject.

According to the decree issued by KGIOP on March 5, 2012 the territory of the Okhta Cape was declared a site of regional significance; certain conditions of construction were generated. This decision does not guarantee the preservation of the Okhta Cape monuments.

We strongly believe that the unique complex of the Okhta Cape archaeological monuments has a great historical and cultural significance for St. Petersburg, Russia and entire Europe. Archaeological monuments, discovered here, must be preserved as objects of cultural heritage of federal significance. To allow construction works on the Okhta Cape means to allow the destruction of the objects of national and international cultural heritage. The Okhta Cape – the national heritage of Russia – should not be privately owned. It must be returned to the city of St. Petersburg.

We are sure that the monuments of the Okhta Cape should become the basis for the new landscape archaeological museum reserve.

Signed by: RAS Academician Vladimir Dybo; RAS Corresponding Members Anna Dybo; RAS Corresponding Members Alexander Anikin (Novosibirsk); archaeologist, Doctor of History, Professor Anatoly Kirpichnikov; Doctor of History, professor Leonty Voitovich (Lvov); archaeologist,Doctor of History Sergei Beletsky; archaeologist, Doctor of History Adrian Selin; Doctor of History, Professor Andrey Zubov; Doctor of History Irina Levinskaya; archaeologist, PhD in History Pyotr Sorokin; archaeologist, PhD in History Sergei Troyanovsky (Veliky Novgorod); architect-restorer Irina Voinova; Doctor of Philology, professor, linguist Tatyana Rozhdestvenskaya; Doctor of Philology, linguist Sergei Nikolayev; Doctor of Philology Alexander Bobrov; Doctor of Psychology, professor Viktor Allakhverdov; Doctor of Philosophy, professor Igor Klyamkin; writers Andrey Bitov, Nina Katerli, Viktor Shenderovich, Evgeny Popov, Samuil Lurye, Alexander Genis, Denis Dragunsky, Alexander Arkhangelsky, Konstantin Azadovsky, poets Alexander Kushner, Alexander Gorodnitsky, Mikhail Yasnov, Andrey Chernov, Oleg Khlebnikov and Maria Ignatyeva; human rights activists Yuly Rybakov, Natalia Gorbanevskaya and Pavel Litvinov; film director Yuri Mamin; secretary of the Journalists’ Union of Russia Pavel Gutiontov; Director of the Museum of Anna Akhmatova in the Fountain House Nina Popova; Director of Old Ladoga Museum Reserve Ludmila Gubchevskaya; priests Sergei Kruglov (Minusinsk) and Grigory Mikhnov-Voitenko (Staraya Rusa); film director Andrei Khrzhanovsky; theatre director and designer Dmitry Krymov; President of the Russian All-National Section of the International Society of Musical Education (ISME) at UNESCO Valery Brainin; artists Viktor Bogorad and Irina Vysheslavskaya; and over five hundred citizens of Russia and other countries.

The Okhta Declaration was issued on 17 April 2013, on the eve of the Day of International Historical and Cultural Heritage, at the meeting of the Public Council for the Creation of the Archaeological Museum on the Okhta Cape.

In order to join the declaration, please submit your signatures at:


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