Around 10,000 plants have been destroyed at Moscow’s Zaryadye Park, just days after its official opening ceremony.
Due to the level of damage incurred, the park will undergo two to three weeks of restoration works, according to its head of conservation, Igor Safiullin, beginning on 18 September.
While some visitors have been spotted digging up rare plants and stealing them in their bags, the majority of the damage has been caused by “the inattention of visitors, who were too pre-occupied with snapping pictures to notice anything under their feet”.
Though Zaryadye had not anticipated any vandalism from public visitors during the planning stages, just hours after it opened to the public on Monday, the glass dome of the Philharmonic concert hall was damaged by an unidentified object.
Designed by New York based architects Diller Scofidio+Renfro, the park was built on the site of the former Rossiya Hotel, one of Moscow’s most iconic Soviet buildings. Costing a reported $245m, three times intial estimates, the project has been criticised for its steep price tag within the current financial climate.