Thursday, February 10, 2011

Vandals damaged Fort Vladivostok

Illegal scrap metal seekers inflicted considerable damage to underground tunnels of 9th redoubt, Fort Vladivostok located at Russky Island; the fort is a governmentally protected monument, reported Wednesday RIA Novosti citing Arthur Romanenko, the leader of Vladivostok diggers. 

Fort Vladivostok is the biggest in the country and the only Russian naval fort registered in UNESCO's list of unique historical sites. Officially, Vladivostok received the status of fort on Aug 30, 1889. The fort occupies over 400 sq km on land and under it. 

The fort included about 50 coastal batteries, 16 forts, dozens of coastal caponiers, an array of strongpoints and land-based batteries, 8 underground quarters. There were about 130 various bastions, fortifications, and coastal batteries armed with 1,400 cannons. 

"Scrap collectors operated in 9th redoubt late January. They removed at least two metal doors made in 1914, about six doorways and metal reinforcing of at least 80 meters of stairway. The fort hosts numerous tourists in summer, and they'll be unsafe here", said the interviewee. 

According to him, it was easy for vandals to damage the fort, since it is unguarded. "Despite the fact that Fort Vladivostok is a governmentally protected monument, it has no security", pointed out Romanenko. 

Fort Vladivostok should be guarded by monument protection agencies, says Petr Samoilenko, head of local branch of Federal agency for supervision over cultural heritage. However, it is pretty hard to guard assets which have no permanent users, he said. 

"We're going to verify the information about plundering of 9th redoubt. Currently, we work with diggers who informed on that", said the interviewee. 

He added that all appropriate information will be handed over to local monument protection agencies which provide state protection of Fort Vladivostok. 

"The agency will determine whether the fort was really damaged", said Samoilenko.
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