In Rodchenko's diaries, confused and depressed by the 1940s and 50s, he reminisces about the salad days of the avant-garde. He fastens onto the Moscow Planetarium, and rapturously cherishes his memories of this temple to science, and the photos he took there. The Planetarium survived Stalin, Lysenko and Yeltsin, but it fell to Yuri Luzhkov, being travestied in a botched 'restoration' last year - the glazed staircase you see below removed for reasons best known to the 'restorers'.
I got my copy of the MAPS' report Moscow Heritage at Crisis Point last week, and highly recommended it is too: the fact that something of such massive historical importance as Ivan Nikolaev's 1930 Dom Kommuna (top) is literally rotting to pieces is genuinely something to make the most detached archi-aesthete angry. Yet I can't help having a bad thought. Isn't there something truly avant-garde about the lunatic model of heritage held by the Moscow authorities? Building whole series of extra stories atop 17th century villas, 'finishing' a ruined 18th century castle, putting billboards of historical buildings over their soon-to-be-demolished ruins, treating the whole city as totally mutable and extendible: isn't this the dreams of the indeterminates and metabolists finally fulfilled by the revivalists?