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Rebuilding Russia

In the heart of St Petersburg lies an island which has been left to decay. Why is Roman Abramovich coming to its rescue?

By Shaun Walker   September 2011

The semi-derelict state of New Holland’s once majestic redbrick warehouses has become a symbol of urban decay across Russia

It is a mysterious island, closed off from the world, located in the centre of a bustling city. For a dozen generations, residents have walked past it every day, denied access to its striking redbrick buildings by the waterways that form a moat around its three sides. It sounds like something from the pages of Gabriel García Márquez or Salman Rushdie. Instead, it is New Holland, a triangular island in the heart of St Petersburg. Hidden in plain view for nearly…

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