Pashkov House, which got an $80 million renovation, is one of Moscow’s few restoration projects lauded by preservationists





The program of Bach and Mozart, featuring Pinchas Zukerman accompanied by the Bolshoi Theater Orchestra, was not the usual fare for a Moscow night spot. Then again, this was not the usual night spot.

But when a wealthy Russian recently wanted to show off his purchase of a 1741 Guarneri del Gesù violin, he said the most fitting site was the newly renovated Dom Pashkova, or Pashkov House, a magnet for a growing class of socially and culturally ambitious Russians.

“Dom Pashkova is one of the few places in Moscow that is suitable for holding such events,” said Maksim Viktorov. He purchased the violin, made by Bartolomeo Giuseppe Guarneri, who is thought by many to be the finest violin maker ever, in a private sale through Sotheby’s for “well in excess” of $3.54 million, the previous record price at auction for a musical instrument, the auction house said. Mr. Viktorov, who made his fortune as a legal consultant to such companies as Lukoil and BP, said that a price double that might not be too far off the mark.

In a city where architectural monuments are readily torn down or gaudily renovated beyond recognition, Pashkov House, which reopened in October after an $80 million renovation, is one of the few restoration projects lauded by preservationists.

“There are a few small things, but as a whole it’s excellent,” said David Sarkisyan, director of the Shchusev Museum of Architecture, which is across the street from Pashkov House. “It’s optimistic that near the Kremlin they didn’t ruin a monument but that it exists in good form.”


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