Appeals in dispute on cultural heritage auction to be heard on June 14
MOSCOW, May 21 - RAPSI. On June 14, the Ninth Commercial Court of Appeals will hear the appeals against the ruling on the illegality of an auction on a land plot sale at the Arkhangelskoye Estate Museum.
In March, the Moscow Commercial Court upheld the Arkhangelskoye Estate Museum's lawsuit and invalidated the action as well as the contract which was concluded by the Defense Ministry with Gradostroy, the auction's winner.
The court found that part of the land plot is considered an object of cultural heritage and therefore cannot be sold and be turned into private property.
Both the Defense Ministry and Gradostroy have submitted appeals against the decision.
The Defense Ministry signed the order to auction the 20.67 hectare plot on June 21, 2011.
On August 16, Gradostroy won the auction with a 754.493 million rubles ($24.17 million) bid.
The museum management maintains that the ministry was not entitled to auction off the land as most of the area (12 hectares) falls within the museum's preservation zone, while a smaller area (0.78 hectares) forms part of the actual estate. Therefore, the right to dispose of the land belonged to the State Property Management Committee, not the Defense Ministry, the plaintiff said.
The Ministry's lawyer in turn referred to an agreement signed between the museum and the military sanatorium adjacent to the estate in 1996. The disputed land plot was not part of the areas of joint use under the agreement, the lawyer said.
The estate consists of a historical palace and park established in the late 18th century near Moscow. Renowned collector and art lover Prince Nikolay Yusupov bought Arkhangelskoye in 1810.