Communal Living in Russia: Essays
Communal Apartments: Protected by the government
  About the State Inspectorate for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage.
  Translation of the Russian Transcript
  A special agency (the State Inspectorate for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage, abbreviated GIOP) registers all buildings and interior spaces designated to be of architectural or historical value. Many buildings in the center of St. Petersburg, along with specific interior elements, are included in this special registry. Architectural details and ornaments are not legally transferred to private ownership as part of the privatization of housing stock, a process almost completed by 2007. Such items include stoves and fireplaces, ceiling moldings, old wooden carved doors, all of which remain state property. The owners of a room may make use of these architectural features but they may not destroy, remove, or renovate them. The government, however, does not provide the means to repair or maintain these valued objects.

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