St. Isaac's Cathedral will be a museum

St. Petersburg authorities have refused to transfer the cathedral to the Russian Orthodox Church. 
Saint-Petersburg Government yesterday refused to transfer the St. Isaac's Cathedral for free use of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC). Despite the absence of legal obstacles for the return of the temple, city officials cite economic reasons: the cost of the maintenance and restoration of the temple will fall on the budget. The Moscow Patriarchate does not rule out appealing the decision of the authorities in court.

A Metropolitan of St. Petersburg and Ladoga Varsonofy at its July with a request to transfer the ROC St. Isaac's Cathedral (see. "Kommersant" on July 27), instead of the governor Georgy Poltavchenko signed by the last of his duties of the governor's administration head Alexander Govorunov. Mr. Poltavchenko September 1 went with President Vladimir Putin to China, after which the governor's press secretary Andrei KIBIT unveiled on his Twitter page about the decision on St. Isaac's Cathedral.

The Office of the Diocese of the document last until the end of the day and did not, but late at night the governor's press secretary posted a copy of the social network. Authorities are remindedthat belongs to St. Petersburg, "the object of cultural heritage of the Russian Federation and the UNESCO World Heritage" is part of the state museum-monument "St. Isaac's Cathedral" and "is a unique monument on a par with such recognized symbols of St. Petersburg, as the Saviour on Spilled Blood (on him, according to the museum guide also claims RPTS.- "b") and Paul Cathedral ", also it is one of the most visited museums in the city. No reference to norms of the legislation as a reason for refusal in writing is not given. Vice Governor refers to the fact that the museum "are thousands of items that make up the collection of the Museum Fund of the Russian Federation" - and only on the current contents of the building and restoration of the museum spends up to 200 million rubles, paying the city treasury 70 million rubles.. taxes. "In the immediate restoration to 2020 the museum needs at least 750 million rubles .; in the case of transfer of the cathedral of the Diocese of the use of all the costs of its maintenance, restoration and protection of the law will fall on cobstvennika - St. Petersburg - says chinovnik.- This will reduction in funding of other socialno significant projects and programs, which in today's difficult economic situation is unacceptable. "" The government has thoroughly studied the possibility of transmission of the cathedral, taking into account the position of the Ministry of Culture and the Public Chamber of St. Petersburg (it is headed by Director of the Museum "St. Isaac's Cathedral" Nikolai Burov.- "b"). It was decided to maintain the cathedral in the operational management of the museum and continuation of the existing more than 20 years of practice of sharing St. Isaac's Cathedral and Diocese Museum "-. And notifies the governor..

Recall the metropolitan Varsonofy insisted that the church has historically been the main church of the city, and pointed to the "urgent need to return the cathedral original purpose - a place of prayer." Under transmission Isaac church legal grounds were announced - Law 327-FZ "On the transfer of property to religious organizations for religious purposes under state or municipal property." Legislative grounds for refusal in the transfer of the cathedral is not - it is, in particular, confirmed the head of the committee tonstitutsionnomu legislation of the Federation Council Andrey Klishas. However, the proposal has caused a public outcry: the opposition insisted on holding a referendum on the matter, but was refused; for the preservation of the temple in the management of the museum was made and the Minister of Culture Vladimir Medina. Governor Georgy Poltavchenko has publicly expressed its position not.

"The refusal of the transmission of the cathedral is illegal and can be challenged in court - said the" Y "head of the legal service of the Moscow Patriarchate Abbess Xenia (Chernega) .- All the arguments about the impossibility of the contents of the building by the city authorities are outside the legal field." Representative of the Patriarch explained that the federal law N327 defines a closed list of grounds for refusal in the transfer of property, for example, the property has no religious or declaration of transfer filed a foreign religious organization, etc. Abbess Xenia also emphasized that "the Civil Code imposes on the user's burden.. property content that is transferred for free use. " Nevertheless, the decision to begin judicial processesbut can only accept the hierarchy. "If it is accepted, we will defend our position in court, and I think will win the process," - she added.

The head of the Cultural Affairs Committee of the St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly Maxim Reznik, said the decision of city authorities, "a wise and fair." According to him, "litigation should not be, because the question is not only legal, but also moral, ethical, and appeal to the court is a challenge to St. Petersburg." The director of the museum (it apart from St. Isaac's Cathedral in St. Petersburg includes three temple) Nikolai Burov also called the possibility of action on the part of the ROC "unprecedented case", noting that this situation is "fueling discord between the Church and society."

Recall a similar conflict in August, the authorities had to settle in Sevastopol - because of the decision of the governor Sergey Menyailo appoint the director "Chersonese" Museum-Reserve rector of St. Vladimir Cathedral Archpriest Sergii Halyuta. As a result, personnel decision was overturned, but by order of Vladimir Putin's reserve is now transferred to the federalmanagement.