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Moscow Greenlights Huge Statue of Orthodox Patriarch Kirill

Patriarch Kirill (Andrei Nikerichev / Moskva News Agency)

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church will be memorialized in a 4-meter statue in the center of Moscow along with 15 other church figures. 

Patriarch Kirill, a staunch supporter of President Vladimir Putin, has raised eyebrows during his eight-year tenure for sporting pricey watches, sanctioning Russia’s campaign in the Syrian war and allegedly dealing in alcohol and tobacco imports in the 1990s.

Recent media reports indicated that Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin signed off on the 16 sculptures to be installed outside the Christ the Savior Cathedral earlier this month. 

“They’re nearly ready,” Salavat Shcherbakov, the project’s sculptor, told the RBC business portal on Friday.

Three of the monuments have already been erected at the cathedral. 

The Russian Orthodox Church has said it has no canonical objections to its patriarch being memorialized by the sculptor. 

“The goal is to memorialize the history of Russia’s patriarchs,” the patriarch’s spokesman was cited as saying by RBC. 

Shcherbakov had previously designed a statue dedicated to Mikhail Kalashnikov, the inventor of the AK-47 assault rifle, earlier this year.

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