Author Topic: Who owns the Cathederal?  (Read 1961 times)

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Offline Dominic_Albanese

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Who owns the Cathederal?
« on: November 02, 2009, 05:37:14 PM »
Hello, enjoy!

French and Russians in battle over ownership of Russian Orthodox cathedral
Worshippers in the French city of Nice took on the Russian state on Monday in a court battle over the ownership of the biggest Russian Orthodox cathedral outside the mother country.

The onion-domed cathedral of St Nicholas was built for Russians many of them aristocrats - who holidayed or settled on the French Riviera on land first purchased by Alexander II in 1865. It was completed in 1912 five years before the Bolshevik Revolution.

The church's parish council argues that Tsar Nicholas II paid for the building work with his own money. But the Russian state claims he used imperial funds belonging to the mother country.

Antoine Chatin, the parishioners' lawyer, said that Alexander II had first purchased the land to build a memorial to his oldest son and heir, Nicholas Alexandrovitch, who died there aged 21 of meningitis, and that the act of acquisition expressly mentioned the tsar's "personal desire" to buy it. The names of three tsars are written in the land registry, he said.

Alain Condino, a lawyer representing the Russian state, argued that the contract signed in 1865 contained the phrase "in the name of the emperor of all Russias" and that the land was bought with funds from the ministry of the imperial court. Mr Condino said an edict by Nicholas II dated 1908 stipulated the "effective owner" was the cabinet of the tsar, a state body.

Mr Condino said the parish council wanted to keep control of the church "for financial reasons", as the entrance fee is 3 (2.70). The cathedral is a listed building in France and contains precious works including 300 icons.

The parishioners' lawyer said that by claiming ownership, the Russian state hoped to bring the cathedral under the control of the patriarchate of Moscow, and thus under the influence of the Kremlin. The parish council has since 1931 been affiliated to the rival patriarchate of Constantinople.

The case continues.

Offline Ilias_of_John

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Re: Who owns the Cathederal?
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2009, 05:53:29 PM »
This unfortunately is a common occurance in the dealings between the Constantinople Patriarch and his Moscow counterpart.
It, as the article points out, mainly refers to a financial matter which subsequently leads to one of power and influence.
I would think that if the Parish Council wants to retain control of the Cathedral, which is their right, as they have done since 1865 or so, they should be allowed, but being a Greek, I also think it is sad that the Greek Patriarch of Constantinople has probably been collecting a fortune in funds.

Maybe some sort of income sharing deal between Bartholemos and Kirill?
That way they could both enjoy a holiday on the Riviera?
Honour all men.
Love the brotherhood.
Fear God.
Honour the king.
1 Peter 2:17

Offline LisaDavidson

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Re: Who owns the Cathederal?
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2009, 10:51:15 AM »
I don't know about the religious politics here. What I see is that the Russian government, which stole the remaining assets in Russia of Nicholas II, and will return nothing to his collateral heirs in spite of the theft, now wants to steal something else he paid for.

Clearly, the location was chosen to commemorate the place where the Emperor's namesake, Nixa, died. He probably finished it in tribute to his grandparents and uncle, and I would hope that whomever has been looking after the cathedral would have some say in maintaining it.