The President of Russia Vladimir Putin, commenting on the situation with the transfer of the Saint Isaac’s Cathedral Russian Orthodox Church (ROC), recalled that the building was built as a Church and not a Museum. He stated this during the annual direct line.
“The Cathedral has always belonged to the state, but the king-father was head of the Church. And in this sense we can say that in part, he belonged to the Church,” — said Putin.
The President reminded that Russia is a secular state and encouraged to de-politicize the issue of transfer of Isaac. “We can provide and the preservation of Museum values, and religious practices. It’s not that hard to do, but do not need to speculate on this topic and use it as a tool of petty political fuss,” said the head of state.
As an example, he cited the Vatican, where St. Paul’s Cathedral is visited by tourists and believers.
Earlier, the press Secretary of the President Dmitry Peskov claimed that the issue of transfer of Isaac “is not within the prerogative of the President” is the task of the city authorities.
In January, the authorities of St.-Petersburg has agreed to transfer to St. Isaac’s Cathedral to the gratuitous use of the Russian Orthodox Church for 49 years. Governor Georgy Poltavchenko has promised to keep the Museum function of the building. This decision angered some citizens, who held a series of meetings.