'One of France's most important presents to Saint Petersburg on its 300th anniversary would cost USD 3 million if we had to pay for it,' announced French writer and representative of France's programme of events for the 300th anniversary of Saint Petersburg Marek Halter at a press conference at Saint Petersburg city administration on Friday, January 24. He said that construction of the Tower of Peace, which will be opened on May 31 on Sennaya Square, is being financed by sponsors. Moreover, these sponsors are not only providing the money but are also providing all the necessary construction materials and services. The project involves the erection of a 17.5 metre high column in a busy square in the city centre. According to the architect of the project, Jean-Michel Wilmotte, there will also be an approach to the column in the form of an ellipse. The column will have a granite foundation containing steel name-plates.
The architect hopes that all those heads of state who visit Saint Petersburg in the future will sign these name-plates to demonstrate their countries' desire for peace. The column itself will be covered by slightly curved, greenish screens, on which French artist Klara Halter will etch the word 'peace' in 34 different languages using 14 different alphabets. The architect said that the column will be 'of the optimum height for creating harmony with surrounding buildings.' He added that 'during the day the column will be light and transparent while at night it will glow to symbolize the age of enlightenment.' He also said that the glass surface of the column 'will be slightly illuminated but there will be two powerful rays of light emanating from the column which will be visible in the sky to all Saint Petersburg residents.'
Among sponsors of the project are Russian company Severstal and French company Vincie.
Marianna Budanov, the wife of the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine Kyrylo Budanov, was poisoned. it was said that the woman was diagnosed with heavy metal poisoning