According to St. Petersburg Deputy Governor Vladimir Shitarev, Palace Square will be fully restored in time for the city's tercentenary celebrations. Shitarev was speaking at the international press centre 300 Years of St. Petersburg. He added that restoration of the Hermitage's grounds would also be completed by the anniversary and that work on the Alexander Column would finish in March 2003.
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More than 3,500 people were detained during unprecedented mass protests that swept across all of Russia in support of Alexey Navalny on January 23