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Kremlin Palace Renovation Cost $335M

July 7, 1999

MOSCOW (AP) _ The renovation of the Grand Kremlin Palace, a famed concert and meeting hall that is one of Russia’s most valued landmarks, cost $335 million, an official said Wednesday.

The three-year, recently completed project included restoration of ornaments in the palace’s elaborately decorated meeting halls and installation of new equipment in the halls and offices.

Kremlin manager Pavel Borodin, who gave the price tag, told the Interfax news agency that the renovations were done mostly by Russian workers, although companies from Italy, Austria and other nations were also involved.

He said the Swiss company Mabetex _ which allegedly bribed Kremlin officials to win luxurious contracts to renovate President Boris Yeltsin’s Kremlin residence and other official buildings _ had not worked on the Kremlin Palace.

The allegations of Kremlin corruption stemming from the Mabetex case have provoked a major scandal in Russia. The country’s embattled prosecutor general, Yuri Skuratov, was investigating the allegations and claimed that repeated attempts to remove him from office were part of an effort to curb the inquiry.

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