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Thursday, 11 April 2013
French Cathedral Declared Russian Property
Topic: Russian Church

 

A French Court has ruled that one of the country's largest cathedrals is actually the property of Russia as it was paid for by Tsar Nicholas II. 

France’s Court of Cassation has upheld Russia’s ownership of St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Nice, thus making the final decision over a seven-year dispute, AFP reports on Thursday.

In 2010, the Nice Superior Court declared Russia to be the rightful owner of St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral, dismissing a claim by the Russian Orthodox Association of Nice (ACOR), which had managed the church for over 80 years.

The ACOR filed an appeal with a court in the French city of Aix-en-Provence and refused to vacate the church. In May 2011, the court ruled in Russia’s favor and the ACOR representatives had to give up the keys and leave, but they filed a second appeal with a higher court.

The Court of Cassation has made the case final.

St. Nicholas Cathedral, the largest Russian Orthodox Cathedral outside Russia, was built in 1912 in Nice and opened by Tsar Nicholas II, who had funded the construction, in the same place where his uncle, Grand Duke Nicholas Alexandrovich died in 1865. The land on which the church was built had been purchased by Alexander II.  In the 1920s, the church came under ACOR management, however their lease to the church expired on December 31 2007. 

In 2006, Russia decided to retrieve its property and filed a lawsuit to this aim.  The church is a popular tourist attraction with up to 150,000 people visiting it annually, according to the French media.

© RAPSI Russian Legal Information Agency. 11 April, 2013



Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:19 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 11 April 2013 6:28 AM EDT
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