RUSSIA: MOSCOW'S INTOURIST HOTEL WELL KNOWN FOR 30 YEARS AS A HOTBED OF SPYING AND DECADENCE CLOSES DOWN
- Title: RUSSIA: MOSCOW'S INTOURIST HOTEL WELL KNOWN FOR 30 YEARS AS A HOTBED OF SPYING AND DECADENCE CLOSES DOWN
- Date: 8th January 2002
- Summary: (W5) MOSCOW, RUSSIA (JANUARY 08, 2002) (REUTERS) VARIOUS: VIEW OF RED SQUARE FROM INTOURIST ROOF; PAN MOSCOW SKYLINE (4 SHOTS) Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Reuters ID: LVA9AMNVNG52SAUCPKGD22KXLAD7
- Location: MOSCOW, RUSSIA
- Country: Russia
- Duration: 00:00:25
- Topics: Industry
- Story Text: Moscow's Intourist Hotel -- a hotbed for 30 years of spying and decadence -- has closed down, marking the end of an era.
Moscow city authorities have announced that they will scrap the 22-storey metal and concrete monstrosity which overlooks the Kremlin.
The registration desk is taking no reservations anymore and the last guests have been turned out of their rooms.
Now, the Intourist is part of history, set to go down in the books as one of the main crossroads of the Cold War--where Soviet agents mingled with Western capitalists.
The Intourist's hard currency stores, its lively bars and its flock of dollar-prostitutes made the hotel a sampling of the West carefully contained in the heart of the Communist empire and off-limits to most Soviet citizens.
Former KGB agent Konstantin Preobrezhensky describes the Intourist as a place where nobody smiled and where spies spied on spies.
The 434-room Intourist Hotel opened in 1970 as the last building in a series of chrome skyscrapers in Moscow's centre.
Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev ordered the buildings after seeing the Manhattan skyline.
But architectural critics say that the Intourist never had the same appeal as the New York landmarks.
In fact, it was derided as Moscow's "Rotten Tooth" and an eyesore in the nation's capital.
Moscow authorities hope to build a new luxury hotel on the site of the Intourist, though no plans have been released to the public.
Once the spot to keep an eye on the West, the hotel's breathtaking view now makes it one of the nation's most desirable post-Cold War construction sites.
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