Author Topic: St Petersburg palaces to be privatised  (Read 43941 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Jane

  • Graf
  • ***
  • Posts: 396
    • View Profile
Re: St Petersburg palaces to be privatised
« Reply #30 on: May 25, 2004, 07:01:24 PM »
My sincere apologies to everyone else for this off-topic post, but it is in reponse to Rodger's.

Rodger--of the 47 Active or Senior 9th Circuit Judges, only 4 are graduates of Boalt Hall School of Law at UC-Berkeley.  Hardly a "seed school" status.  Try Harvard or Yale instead.  This is not a thread about your political views or dislike of lawyers and judges.

Now can we all stay on topic?  Thanks.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Jane »

Offline LisaDavidson

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 2665
    • View Profile
Re: St Petersburg palaces to be privatised
« Reply #31 on: May 26, 2004, 11:56:47 PM »
Rodger, Rob is no censor. He would really make a poor one, as he enjoys a good argument far too much.

However, I happen to agree with you that as much as possible, the private property stolen during Soviet times should be returned to the residual heirs of the property owners of record.

It's not just the money, the principle of property rights must be firmly reestablished in Russia so that the temptation to disregard them once again is very firmly discouraged.

It is argued that it is not necessary to return the stolen goods because so much time has passed. Cool. Okay, everyone who feels this way should immediately sign over to me all of your property. You can take the clothes on your back and whatever you can quickly grab. You must leave the country where you are living and may not ever return on point of death. I will not make any attempt to maintain your property. Instead, I'll decide how it's to be used for the next 70 years. I may let people live in your homes or not. My unlawful ownership will end after 70 years. At that time, your seized property will be sold by me, with all proceeds going to me. Either you or your heirs are welcome to bid on purchasing your property, but you will be treated no differently than anyone else.

This is exactly what all of you who say that it's okay not to make restitution to the original owners are advocating.

I await your property, and get going to your new countries. Good luck.

Offline Belochka

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 4447
  • City of Peter stand in all your splendor - Pushkin
    • View Profile
Re: St Petersburg palaces to be privatised
« Reply #32 on: May 27, 2004, 12:10:32 AM »
Do you recommend that I should go back to SPb and seize all my family properties, then evict all the current residents on the streets and then wait for the legal consequences to flow?

To prove Imperial title of ownership should not be too difficult - it is a matter of record.

However all I will gain are empty shells, for at each location, all the contents have been destroyed or stolen.

As for the cost of re-construction to bring these structures back to their origin glory, can anyone please help?

???
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Belochka »


Faces of Russia is now on Facebook!


http://www.searchfoundationinc.org/

Offline Belochka

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 4447
  • City of Peter stand in all your splendor - Pushkin
    • View Profile
Re: St Petersburg palaces to be privatised
« Reply #33 on: May 27, 2004, 12:30:53 AM »
Thanks for your concern Rodger.

But I believe it is best to take up this matter face to face with the Governor of SPb Valentina Matviyenko!

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Belochka »


Faces of Russia is now on Facebook!


http://www.searchfoundationinc.org/

Offline LisaDavidson

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 2665
    • View Profile
Re: St Petersburg palaces to be privatised
« Reply #34 on: May 27, 2004, 12:35:35 AM »
Belochka: What I am advocating - and I have consistently said this - is the full restoration of property rights under a system of law in Russia. If you indeed are the residual heir to property stolen from your ancestors, then the proceeds of any sale of property rightly would belong to you. If those occupying your stolen property have been able stewards, they should be able to retain possession provided you are compensated. If there has not been competent stewardship, the privitization process should include you in it. I never advocated you breaking the law or seizing property. I simply stated, until we have property rights in Russia thoroughly respected, there will be no recovery of the economy that has any meaning. After all, are you prepared to turn over your assets to a govenment when they decide they want them?

RobMoshein

  • Guest
Re: St Petersburg palaces to be privatised
« Reply #35 on: May 27, 2004, 10:52:24 AM »
Hi all, sorry if I appeared "ambivalent", but for the last couple of days, I've been swamped with "real world" work, fighting a cold, and was all I could do to monitor the Forum basically.
First, Rod, notice I said "to play Devil's Advocate", Lisa quite rightly knows I love a good argument. I had not revealed my personal beliefs on the subject, I was merely point out, and I think correctly, that there are different perspectives on the subject. I think your suggestion that the American Indians had no rights to their lands because they did not recognize Western style notions of recorded deeds and taxes to be somewhat disengenuous. For generations, the same people lived in the same areas, perhaps not on the same exact spot, but smallish regions. They also had cities, I cite you to Kahokia and Mesa Verde for example.  They also fought wars to keep other tribes OFF the land they occupied. They recognized that "we occupy this place" and they actively USED the land for generations.

Now, there is a long time recognized Western legal concept called "Adverse Possession". It says, if someone is on a piece of land for a specific time (usually 7 years), and Openly uses the property as his own, adversely to the ownership interest of the recorded owner, Exclusively as his own, continuously for the whole period, actually uses it, and other people know about it, it becomes his own, legally! Think of it as like Common Law Marriage.
There is also a legally recognized doctrine called "Good Faith".  Those people who have lived in those buildings for decades did so "in good faith", they were told by their government that this was their apartment, and they lived there and used the place for years as their own, believing reasonably that this was true. To punish THOSE people for what may be the Soviet government's wrong doing may not be equitable.
AND, what DID the original owners perhaps do to retain their ownership interests? Did they file petitions against the Soviet regime or claims for compensation?  
Now, Im not necessarily legitimizing the confiscation of property by the Bolsheviks, but the issue is not necessarily as black and white as you make it out. ALSO, do not forget that the US government interned Japanese Americans during WWII, and took away their property as well. AND, where do we draw the line in terms of time? Should the descendants of French Aristocrats have claims for property seized in the 1790s?  US citizens declared Texas an Independant Republic, disrupting the legitimate Mexican ownership interests of the land.  Should we pay Mexico back for Texas? I think you see the murkiness here now....

Offline Belochka

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 4447
  • City of Peter stand in all your splendor - Pushkin
    • View Profile
Re: St Petersburg palaces to be privatised
« Reply #36 on: May 27, 2004, 11:13:37 PM »
All my family's properties and assets were seized without recompense. After the WWII I am aware that one of the SPb properties was subdivided to accommodate families moving into the city center. It was a solution to counter the scarcity of city property.

State ownership of all property, coupled with stringent government controls prevented any incentive to improve the property. The consequence was that that building fell into disrepair. What I saw was a sad crumbling facade which was rapidly loosing its former street appeal dotted with small appartments. The original integrity was destroyed forever.  

Whether there was successive or intermittant occupation by persons is unknown, furthermore, there is no information as to whether possession was gained by a single extended family group or if occupation involved several unrelated families. Following the State's subdivision of the property after WWII, it could only be presummed that other unrelated families moved in to take possession.  How long each of these families resided at the same address is unknown. All I do know is that these inhabitants would have paid nominal rent to the State who were the new legitimate owners.

Whether the Western Doctrine of Good Faith would ever be recognized retrospectively in the new Russia is a moot point. No legislation to reflect this principle has been enacted as far as I am aware.

Similarily the Doctrine of Adverse Possession would fall into the same category.

Importantly the legislators IMHO must first recognize any legitimate property rights effecting its own citizens, before it widens the scope of the legislation to permit residents of foreign countries to be recognized as having standing in the same matter.

Obviously the question of ownership must be resolved before any compensation for damages can be considered.  

An important consideration is how can I make any legitimate claim to a government which no longer exists constitutionally? The legal process itself between the various jurisdictions (incl. International Law) would be a nightmare and prove extremely costly and time consuming. It is difficult to imagine that former owners of any substantial property in Imperial Russia would decide to take this course of action.  

IMHO it would be immoral to presuppose that I had any rights of recovery today concerning that which belonged to my family many years ago. Agreeably it would be wonderful if the matter was ever to be resolved in my favor. Realistically for me this discussion is purely academic.

;)

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Belochka »


Faces of Russia is now on Facebook!


http://www.searchfoundationinc.org/

Offline LisaDavidson

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 2665
    • View Profile
Re: St Petersburg palaces to be privatised
« Reply #37 on: May 28, 2004, 01:01:01 PM »
And if what you say is true, it should emphatically not be academic. The passage of time in no way obliterates the crime. Just as murder in most jusidictions has no statute of limitations, I think it would be totally unreasonable to apply Adverse Possesssion here.

Offline Forum Admin

  • Administrator
  • Velikye Knyaz
  • *****
  • Posts: 4665
  • www.alexanderpalace.org
    • View Profile
    • Alexander Palace Time Machine
Re: St Petersburg palaces to be privatised
« Reply #38 on: May 28, 2004, 01:07:55 PM »
Is that any more or less unreasonable to throw people out of houses they have lived in all their lives? And, frankly, the actions of the Soviet Government in nationalizing property was not a crime.  Research international law, and you will find that a legitimate government has the right to nationalize property, regardless of what we may think about it. Peron did it, Israel did it, I wrote a Law Review piece on the nationalisation of Anaconda Copper Mines by Argentina....it is not "illegal". Immoral definitely, but in the eyes of the International Court at the Hague, not illegal, even today

Offline Forum Admin

  • Administrator
  • Velikye Knyaz
  • *****
  • Posts: 4665
  • www.alexanderpalace.org
    • View Profile
    • Alexander Palace Time Machine
Re: St Petersburg palaces to be privatised
« Reply #39 on: May 28, 2004, 06:25:45 PM »
My L.R. article was not included in that year's journal "for reasons of space":o...to be truthful, I started writing it BECAUSE I was so outraged at nationalisations occurring...imagine my genuine outrage when I was left no recourse but to conclude, most distastefully, that International Law seemed to not care...
IF you're really serious, I'll see if I can dig up my copy.
R
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by admin »

Offline Belochka

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 4447
  • City of Peter stand in all your splendor - Pushkin
    • View Profile
Re: St Petersburg palaces to be privatised
« Reply #40 on: May 28, 2004, 09:31:07 PM »
Lisa what I stated previously is true. I have no reason to embellish my statements.

While the process of privatization should provide a source of funds, conversely it does not necessarily imply that those monies would then be re-directed to pay out damages to those of us who are aggrieved.

Realistically it would take a very long time (perhaps years) to go through the local Court system. The difficulty of living abroad could also hinder the plaintiff who must rely on local asistance to ensure that all their rights and interests would be protected.

It is doubtful that the Western concept of Adverse Possession would ever be applied in Russia, but if it ever was, it would indeed be unreasonable to rely on it.

::)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Belochka »


Faces of Russia is now on Facebook!


http://www.searchfoundationinc.org/

Offline Greg D

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 72
    • View Profile
Re: St Petersburg palaces to be privatised
« Reply #41 on: July 06, 2004, 01:44:18 AM »
Here is a very recent news story mainly regarding the former palace of Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich, but refering to the condition of many state owed palaces and their future :

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3827071.stm

Greg   :)

Offline Belochka

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 4447
  • City of Peter stand in all your splendor - Pushkin
    • View Profile
Re: St Petersburg palaces to be privatised
« Reply #42 on: July 07, 2004, 01:35:22 AM »
As Greg_D's posted article notes:

"St Petersburg's palaces just don't look as good as they should," the city's founder reflects between photographs.

If the state doesn't have the funds to look after them, I think selling them off is probably for the best."

The city authorities say they have been left with little choice if they are to save the buildings for the next generation of sight-seers."


I strongly believe that whatever it takes in order to save all the beautiful old buildings located in SPb and environs should be considered well before they crumble even further and collapse from neglect. Immediate reconstruction is imperative otherwise we will only have ruins and regret.



Faces of Russia is now on Facebook!


http://www.searchfoundationinc.org/

Offline Belochka

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 4447
  • City of Peter stand in all your splendor - Pushkin
    • View Profile
Re: St Petersburg palaces to be privatised
« Reply #43 on: July 07, 2004, 10:28:31 PM »
NAAOTMA I was delighted to read that you achieved some success. I sincerely hope that your family may now enjoy what you have and have some sort of closure.

I fully understand your emotions would have been profound and will always continue to be so.

:)


Faces of Russia is now on Facebook!


http://www.searchfoundationinc.org/

Offline FARRELL_THORNE

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: St Petersburg palaces to be privatised
« Reply #44 on: July 16, 2004, 07:41:54 AM »
 :) This is my first visit to this site, and as an ardent Russophile, I am obviously interested in all these discussions.
I live in Cape Town South Africa, and the Government here instituted a process of reparations to the victims of apartheid. These people sufferred exactly the same fate as did the Russians in 1917.
People who lost their properties here because of the apartheid laws were offerred financial compensation which was claimable within a specified period of time.
I think ther properties were revalued by a special comittee and the compensation was paid to these victims based on a % of this valuation.
Obviously the buildings in Russia are of architectural and historical significance, and the government should therefore make a responsible decison.
One could discuss this endlessly, however what horrifies me is the fact that the Russian authorites only appear to care about the facades.  The interiors are equally, if sometimes not more important.
Given the large number of Nouveau Riche in Russia,at  the moment, one wonders what they would do to the interiors of the buildings?
As someone said previously, probably jacuzzies and barbeque patios.
I do not think that Putins renovation to the Konstantinovsky Palace is exactly tasteful either. One is grateful that the palace has been restored, but could they not perhaps have spread the money around a bit more and included some other renovations as well.
Maybe foreign businesses should "adopt a palace' for renovation, as they recently did with the Amber Room at the Catherine Palace ?
Not all these palaces are savable, I think, some have decayed beyond salvation.
Just a few thoughts.
S.