Plan to hand control of St Petersburg cathedral to church sparks outcry; Alec Luhn; The Guardian

Russia – Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments

Opponents fear restricted access and loss of funds for maintenance if St Isaac’s Cathedral leaves state hands.

More than 160,000 people have signed a petition against a decision to hand over the running of a popular tourist attraction in St Petersburg from the state to the Russian Orthodox church.

Built between 1818 and 1858, St Isaac’s Cathedral was the most important cathedral in Russia until the Soviets stripped it of its religious trappings in the 1930s and installed an anti-religion museum inside. Regular worship resumed after the fall of communism, with space reserved inside for educational facilities, exhibitions and classical music concerts.

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