The prominent Russian singer was deprived of the unfinished Song Theatre.
The city authorities informed investors and Alla Pugacheva that the project could not be finished. The investors are trying to recover the money they spent on leasing the land for the future theatre (2,5 million rubles a quarter), Radio Svaboda reports.
Yevgeny Finkelshtein, the director of PMI music company and owner of the controlling stake in the project, comments on the situation:
“The officials conned Pugacheva and the investors. We were invited to the residence of the St Petersburg governor and said that there was a letter saying that vice governor Marat Oganesyan was unable to implement the project. I was shocked. They earlier assured us the theatre would be built with 100% certainty. We improved the project several times. Pugacheva is one of the founders. Investors know her name and gave their money. The city should thank her for attracting investments in St Petersburg. It was planned that the theatre would be built without state funds.”
Alla Pugacheva is known for her brave remarks on the political situation in Russia and the country's leaders. She also supported musician Andrei Makaravich after a petition calling to deprive him of all state awards had appeared on the website change.org following his critical comments on the events in Ukraine.
Alla Pugacheva refused to take part in a music competition in Crimea on June 12, when the country celebrated Russia Day.
The ban on the construction of the Song Theatre is explained as follows: On August 17, 2011, governor of Saint Petersburg Valentina Matviyenko approved the decision of the city government on allotting a plot of land for the construction of Alla Pugacheva's Song Theatre. The decision provoked serious criticism in St Petersburg. Firstly, f 3-hectare plot of land in the Smolenka estuary was sold without a competition. Secondly, it was bought at 39 million rubles, which, experts thinks, is from 10 to 15-fold lower than the market price.
Those criticising the decision of Valentina Matviyenko explain it not by the former governor's love for Alla Pugacheva and her works, but by the fact that Maksim Vorobyov and Mikhail Kenin, partners of Stroytransgaz Holding CEO and Putin's friend Gennady Timchenko, were shareholders in the limited liability company Alla Pugacheva's Song Theatre (both later quit the company).
Alla Pugacheva wants a compensation of 100 million rubles from Saint Petersburg.