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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Luzhkov Lays Cornerstone to Manezh Complex

Mayor Yury Luzhkov on Thursday laid the cornerstone of the capital's latest ambitious construction project, a massive new underground business and cultural complex next to the Kremlin.

The Russian Cultural Center will cover 182,000 square meters in Manezh Square, Interfax reported.

The complex is expected to house exhibition centers, concert halls, a 300-room hotel, hundreds of shops, restaurants and offices, and an underground parking lot.

It is a joint project between the Culture Ministry, the Moscow city government and the Turkish ENKA construction firm.

Luzhkov was joined in the opening ceremony by Patriarch Alexy II, Culture Minister Yevgeny Sidorov and Turkey's ambassador to Russia.

ENKA representatives said Thursday's ceremony marked the launch of the first stage of construction, expected to be complete by February 1996.

The entire project is due for completion in 1999, Interfax said.

The mayor discussed the project with President Boris Yeltsin on Thursday afternoon during a visit to the president's hospital room. Yeltsin is recovering from heart trouble, which prevented from a scheduled review of the construction site last week.