Architect's family battle developers to save landmark
From Jeremy Page in Moscow
A FEW hours after Viktor Melnikov, the son of the Soviet Union’s most
famous avant-garde architect, breathed his last, lawyers turned up to
seize his house.
For three decades, he had lived in the iconic piece of Constructivist
architecture — built by his father, Konstantin, in 1929 — to safeguard
it from bureaucrats and developers.
But now the future of one of the few private homes built in the Soviet
era hangs in the balance after Melnikov’s death from prostate cancer on
Sunday at the age of 91.
“My father’s body was still warm when they came to try and take the
house,” Yekaterina, his eldest daughter, told The Times. “I was shocked.”
Melnikov left the building, which is in dire need of restoration, to the
State in his will on the condition that it be turned into a museum
honouring his father. However, Melnikov’s youngest daughter, Yelena,
disputes his ownership of the building and appears determined to take
control of it.