More than 155 thousand people signed a petition against the St. Isaac’s Cathedral to the gratuitous use of the Russian Orthodox Church; from Tuesday evening when it became known about the initiative at the present time, an opinion expressed about 62 thousand Internet users, the materials on the portal change.org.
The petition was created on the Internet in 2015. Then city officials denied the St. Petersburg diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church in the Church was transferred to the gratuitous use.
Last Tuesday, press Secretary of the Governor of St. Petersburg Andrei Kibito said that this issue has been resolved in favor of the Church. According to the Vice-Governor of St. Petersburg Mikhail Mokretsov, the legal status of the building of St. Isaac’s Cathedral will not change after its transfer to the gratuitous use of the Russian Orthodox Church, which can take less than three years. The Church, for her part, promises to expand Museum activities and to cancel the entrance fee to the Cathedral.
As noted in the petition, the opponents of the return of the Isaac Church fear that “the transfer of the museums, monuments, business cards of St. Petersburg, under the jurisdiction of the ROC will restrict their normal tourists”. Also, according to the authors of the petition, there are “unfounded fears” that the ROC will not be able to fully provide the necessary restoration work to preserve the unique cultural heritage.
“We should be a secular state,” wrote in the comments to the petition on Friday morning, Dmitry Trishkin. Agree with him Svetlana Ilyin from Moscow. “I think that ROC is not able to maintain this level of cultural significance of a cultural monument. The Russian Federation is a secular state. Why, then, the Museum is given to a ROC is a violation of the Constitution of the Russian Federation”, — she wrote.
As previously reported, the Deputy of Legislative Assembly of Petersburg Boris Vishnevsky, Friday night, from St. Isaac’s Cathedral will host an informal meeting with activists expected to discuss details of a public campaign against the transfer of the Cathedral Church. Since this meeting will be held in the format of dialogue of parliamentarians with voters, it does not require additional approvals from the city authorities.
St. Isaac’s Cathedral was built in 1818-1858 years by architect Auguste Montferrand. Its height exceeds 100 meters, and the inner area — more than 4 thousand square meters. The Russian government handed over St. Isaac’s Cathedral property in St. Petersburg in October 2012. Three years later St. Petersburg diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church appealed to the city authorities with the request to transfer the building of St. Isaac’s Cathedral for free use, but was refused. The city government then took the decision to maintain St. Isaac’s Cathedral in the operational management of the state Museum-monument “St. Isaac’s Cathedral”.