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September 24, 2009

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Gazprom's contentious skyscraper approved

RUSSIA'S state natural gas giant, Gazprom, has won approval to build a massive skyscraper in St Petersburg that critics say will ruin the city's protected skyline.

The city council on Tuesday approved plans for the 400-meter structure, more than three times as tall as the St Peter and Paul Cathedral that is the city's highest building.

St Petersburg has, until now, preserved its low-rise skyline and czarist-era image.

UNESCO warned that the planned tower could endanger St Petersburg's status as a world heritage site.

The twisting glass tower dubbed "the corn on the cob" beat out five international rivals in 2006, winning the controversial competition to build the new Gazprom headquarters in St Petersburg.


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