×
Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

Paris Mayor Calls Design for Orthodox Church 'Mediocre'

PARIS — Paris Mayor Bernard DelanoС described a Russian Orthodox church to be built along the Seine River as "hodgepodge architecture," not worthy to be near the Eiffel Tower.

DelanoС said the project, a gleaming white church with five golden domes topped by a glass roof linking it to a spiritual and cultural center, is "mediocre architecture conceived in haste."

The project, whose design was chosen in an international architectural competition, was approved in 2010 by Presidents Nicolas Sarkozy of France and Dmitry Medvedev of Russia.

Moscow has already purchased a plot of land for it on the left bank of the Seine, just across the river from the tunnel where Britain's Princess Diana died in a car crash in 1997.

"I want to express my very firm opposition to this project conceived by the French and Russian states without the agreement of the city of Paris," DelanoС said in a statement this week.

"I would like UNESCO, the guardian of the banks of the Seine, to get involved so no permission can be given without the endorsement of international experts," he said.

Paris-based UNESCO, the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization, has granted world heritage status to the banks of the Seine and the various styles of French architecture adorning them.

DelanoС's statement Monday said the project's "hodgepodge architecture displays an ostentatiousness unsuited to a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or one within view of the Eiffel Tower."

But a Russian presidential spokesperson said the Paris mayor could not block a decision made by the French president.

"This is his personal opinion ... and it has no legal significance," Viktor Khrekov told RIA-Novosti on Tuesday.

With 165 million members, the Russian Orthodox Church is the second-largest in Christianity after the 1.3-billion-strong Roman Catholic Church.

It has been playing an increasingly active role at home and abroad since the end of Soviet communism in 1991.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more