St. Sophia renovations are planned

Religious Information Service of Ukraine

KYIV - Valerii Cherep, head of the National Committee on Construction and Architecture of Ukraine, reported that the committee is preparing a project for the renovation of the foundation and main buildings of St. Sophia's Cathedral in Kyiv. The renovation will be done on the occasion of the 1,000th anniversary of the church in 2004. During a telephone interview on April 2, Mr. Sherep said: "We need 8 million hrv (approximately $1.6 million U.S.) to bring St. Sophia's into proper condition. "Part of this sum will be allocated by the state and another part will be donated by sponsors."

In addition, Mr. Cherep said that the construction of an underground fitness center near St. Sophia had resumed, since all documents and projects had been checked and agreed upon with the Ministry of Culture and other governmental bodies. He also stressed that the construction of a fitness center "presents no threat to St. Sophia." According to Mr. Cherep, special research institutes that studied the territory of the reserve at the committee's request concluded that no shifts of ground are likely to occur.

As reported in August 2002, the Procurator's Office in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv brought criminal charges against Kyiv administration officials who gave permission for construction work near St. Sophia, because it had allegedly caused damage to the church's bell tower. However, the case was closed in December for lack of evidence.

Copyright © The Ukrainian Weekly, April 27, 2003, No. 17, Vol. LXXI

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