A spokesman for the city of Nice said that St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral, which is, at present, closed to tourist groups, would reopen its doors on 1 July for visitors. In anticipation of the tourist season, under pressure from the tourism industry, Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi asked the parish authorities to reopen the Cathedral for visitors. St Nicholas Cathedral is one of the most-visited historical sites on the Cote d’Azur. Almost 300,000 people visited it in 2010. In conjunction with the MP, the Russian government decided to give free access to the cathedral for all comers. Until 2011, the Paris Exarchate charged an admission fee of three Euros to all visitors. A spokesman for the city told Interfax, “The reopening of the Orthodox cathedral will allow city residents and tourists to once again enjoy the beautiful park which is adjacent to it, and the city will help matters by updating municipal services to it”.
St Nicholas Cathedral was built in the early twentieth century; the French government placed it on its list of protected architectural monuments in 1987. A large-scale restoration of the building will begin in 2013, financed by the Russian government and private sponsors; it should take two years to complete. In 1923, the Russian Orthodox Religious Association (ACOR) leased the church for 99 years; in 1931, it passed under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchal Exarchate for Orthodox Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe (EP). On 19 May 2011, a French court affirmed that the Russian government had the right of ownership to the Russian church in Nice. The Russian government decided to hand it over to the MP Diocese of Korsun, for its free and unlimited use. However, the executive council of the Paris Exarchate continued to consider themselves the legitimate occupant of the cathedral. In December 2011, Sergei Bolkhovitin, the deputy manager of the Russian presidential administration, handed the keys of the cathedral in Nice to its new rector, Archpriest Nikolai Ozolin.
18 June 2012
On entrance fees alone, the Paris Renovationist clowns were scamming over 900,000 Euros (36.67 million Roubles. 1.13 million USD. 720,000 UK Pounds) a year just on entrance fees. That’s not counting souvenirs or concessions. In short, this was a VERY large cash cow for Gabriel, with a VERY loud MOO. What’s going to happen to the Paris gang, now that they’ve lost their gelt? The Centre won’t give them any. The Phanar can’t give them any, as its dependent on Langley and handouts from rich Greek-Americans (pony up enough cash and Bart will make you an “Archon”… fancy that). The OCA certainly has no extra cash on hand… it has to pay its lawyers (and the Storheim kafuffle isn’t over yet, kids). Lastly, SVS has no money… they’re using creative accounting to lull the faithful. In short, “there’s a hole in the bucket”, and there’s no “silversmith from Tula” to put it right.
You see, most of the admittance charges were “painless”… that is, the Paris crooks charged the tour coach operators, not the individuals in a group holiday package. Ergo, it was the perfect scam. The marks didn’t pay out of pocket, the Paris bunch pocketed the cash, and they probably kicked back 5 percent to the coach operators, everybody was happy. Each bus with 40 people would net 12 Euros for the operator… and it would take 7,500 tour buses to make up 300,000…the operators pocketed 90,000 Euros (3.66 million Roubles. 113,000 USD. 72,000 UK Pounds) amongst them… no chump change, kids. One wonders if Bart took his cut of the swag, too? Considering how he acted in Estonia, I’d say that Cookie the Bookie’s giving good odds on it.
This was a big loss for the Renovationists; it’s why they’re so quiet about it. Things aren’t so simple in the real world, are they?