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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Battle for Building Where Pushkin Slept

MTDom Nashchokina, which houses an art gallery, is caught in an ownership dispute.
A dispute over the right to occupy an historic building where a friend of Alexander Pushkin's once lived came to a head this week when a man who claims he owns the building used police to gain entry to the first floor.

Dom Nashchokina, named after patron of the arts Pavel Nashchokin, is an 18th-century two-story building located at 12 Vorotnikovsky Pereulok near Triumfalnaya Ploshchad. Pushkin often stayed over at the house.

The building houses an art gallery that was established in the early 1990s and a publishing house that has been there for 28 years. Natalya Ryurikova, editor of the journal Kinostsenarii and director of the gallery, said the building is classified as a federal monument and owned by the Property Ministry, which has given her the right to occupy it.

The building also is claimed by Ismail Tagi-Zade, president of video production company Tiskino, who maintains he bought it in 1989.

"The only way we can get rid of them is to go to court," Ryurikova said Wednesday. "He was previously evicted from here by a court order at the request of the Property Ministry."

Ryurikova said she was afraid Tagi-Zade would now try to seize the second floor, which has a separate entrance.

Tagi-Zade, however, denied using force in occupying the first floor on Monday. "I didn't move in forcibly. I just walked into empty premises that are mine," he said by telephone.

"This issue has been running for 4 1/2 years and I have all the court rulings and a resolution from the presidium of the Supreme Arbitration Court," he said.

Ryurikova said the Property Ministry has supported her position in court. "They have just sent us a document saying they will support us when the case goes to the Supreme Arbitration Court because they believe that Tagi-Zade's sale contract and the ownership certificate is illegal," she said by telephone.