KIEV, August 10 (Itar-Tass) — Ukraine's Culture Ministry on Friday dismissed director-general of the Kiev-Pechersk Historic and Cultural Reserve Viktoria Lesnichaya.
It is the first echo of the scandal over the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra monastery, a holy site of the Orthodox world. At present, it is divided in two parts -- lower Lavra with the men's monastery under the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate's Ukrainian Orthodox Church and upper Lavra, which is a national historic and cultural reserve under the jurisdiction of the Ukrainian Culture Ministry.
Gross law violations were discovered in the work of the reserve, as its secular staff is mired in conflicts. One of the deputy directors confessed publicly that she had given a 50,000-dollar bribe to take office. The materials of the inquiry into the staff activities are referred to the law enforcement authorities.
Kiev-Pechersk Lavra is one of the first monasteries in Rus. It was founded by monk Antony in 1051 under the rule of Yaroslav the Wise. There are 122 monuments of architecture of the 11th-18th centuries on its territory of 28 hectares. Lavra is listed among the UNESCO World Heritage sites.