Plans to build a hotel for football fans on the site of a massacre have been shelved

A decision to build a hotel on the site of a World War II Nazi massacre has been overruled by a city mayor.

The approval of plans to construct the building in Kiev, near Ukraine’s Babi Yar monument, where 34,000 Jews were killed in 1941 had received wide criticism.

Those in favour had argued that the Ukranian capital was in need of more hotels to help cater for visitors at the 2012 European Football Championships.

But the decision was overruled by the mayor of Kiev, Leonid Chernovetsky.

The Israeli government welcomed the news. Its committee president Avner Shalev told the AFP news agency: “Babi Yar is a memorial site not only for Jews but for the whole of Europe... It would have been inconceivable to turn it into a commercial centre.”

The hotel was due to be built on what Jewish scholars have described as the middle of the main site of the massacre, the BBC said.

Around 33,700 Jews were shot at the edge of the Babi Yar ravine on 29 and 30 September, 1941. Nazi authorities later filled the ravine with an estimated 100,000 bodies, including Soviet and Kiev prisoners-of-war.