Europa Park to Enliven Kievskaya

MTCity Hall plans to have Strebel's "The Rape of Europa" statue in place by September.
City Hall plans to turn the square at Kievsky Station into a pleasant place to spend an afternoon by September.

The project will be called Europa Square and will incorporate a large illuminated fountain, a cafe with the flags of all the European nations and a $70 million to $80 million office and retail center.

Belgian sculptor Olivier Strebel's steel statue "The Rape of Europa," featuring a bull's head with 18-meter steel horns, will dominate the fountain. Strebel has said he intends to periodically alter the fountain's water level to partly submerge the bull.

Belgium presented the statue as a gift to Moscow after two Russian works were placed in Belgian towns.

City Hall approved the project to revamp the square on Berezhkovskaya Naberezhnaya between the Borodinsky and Kievsky pedestrian bridges in 1995.

The president of the Russian Academy of Arts, controversial sculptor Zurab Tsereteli, was one of the plan's chief supporters. The international design center that he headed in 1995 -- now the Center of Professional Arts -- and the UNESCO fund are included as participants in City Hall resolutions for the creation of the office center.

The Center of Professional Arts is a co-founder of the specially created private company Kievskaya Ploshchad. According to company general director Mikhail Popov, Tsereteli is in charge of the project's design. Tsereteli could not be reached for comment.

The complex will have a total area of 72,300 square meters and be located on a territory of 3.22 hectares. It will reflect the architectural style of Kievsky Station and will have an enormous transparent cupola in the center. The building will be two to four stories high. The square's structures will be built above four levels of metro tunnels, and the buildings will therefore be placed upon a 2 hectare slab of concrete reinforced with steel. Construction on the office complex is scheduled to be completed in 2004.

Kievskaya Ploshchad's Popov put the cost of construction at $70 million to $80 million, however, he declined to name the source of financing. No budget funds have been earmarked for the project.

"Up until the final resolution was passed we couldn't even start

negotiations with investors," Popov said.

He declined to name Kievskaya Ploshchad's shareholders, adding that they changed frequently.