State museum wins land sale dispute against Defense Ministry
MOSCOW, March 27 - RAPSI. The Moscow Regional Commercial Court held for the Arkhangelskoye Estate Museum's lawsuit to declare the auctioning of a land plot on its preservation area illegal.
The court also cancelled the land sale and purchase agreement signed between the Defense Ministry and the successful bidder Gradostroy.
The ministry signed the order to auction the 20.67-hectare plot on June 21, 2011.
On August 16, Gradostroy won the auction with a 754.493 million rubles ($26.67 million) bid. Pursuant to the tender documents, the land plot had a number of encumbrances.
The museum management maintains that the ministry was not entitled to auction off the land as most of the area (12 hectares) falls within the museum's preservation zone, while a smaller area (0.78 hectares) forms part of the actual estate. Therefore, the State Property Management Committee -- and not the ministry -- should have had the right to dispose of the land, the plaintiff said.
The ministry's lawyer in turn referred to an agreement signed between the museum and the military sanatorium adjacent to the estate in 1996. The disputed land plot was not part of the areas of joint use under the agreement, the lawyer said.
The estate consists of a historical palace and park established in the late 18th century near Moscow. Renowned collector and art lover Prince Nikolay Yusupov bought Arkhangelskoye in 1810.