St Petersburg’s governor has announced that St Isaac’s Cathedral — officially a museum — will be handed over to the Russian Orthodox Church.
Russia’s TASS agency has reported that the Orthodox Church will receive the 49-year lease free of charge, citing a statement by St Petersburg’s Property Affairs Commission. Nikolay Burov, director of St Isaac’s Cathedral Museum, assures that during the transfer period, which could last up to three years, the museum will continue to take responsibility for all maintenance costs.
Among the biggest changes will be the removal of a charge for entering the cathedral, which currently costs 150 — 250 rubles ($2.5 — $4.5), while paid tours will continue.
“Nobody charges people for entering a church,” Orthodox Church spokesman Vladimir Legoyda stated yesterday at a press conference.