People walk near Moscow's Metropol Hotel on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012. Michael Jackson slept there. Vladimir Lenin harangued Bolsheviks there. Over the past century, the Hotel Metropol h

 

              People walk near Moscow
People walk near Moscow's Metropol Hotel on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012. Michael Jackson slept there. Vladimir Lenin harangued Bolsheviks there. Over the past century, the Hotel Metropol has seen the extremes of Russian life, from austere revolutionary fervor to flashy pop indulgence. Now, at a starting price of 8.7 billion rubles ($272 million), the hotel is up for sale Thursday, auctioned off by the Moscow city government as part of its privatization program. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)