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St. Petersburg officials reject St. Isaac’s Cathedral referendum petition

August 20, 2015, 13:17 UTC+3 ST. PETERSBURG
Earlier group of activists asked for referendum on the handover of the St. Petersburg’s landmark St. Isaac’s Cathedral to the Russian Orthodox Church
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Tousrists near St. Isaac’s Cathedral in St. Petersburg

Tousrists near St. Isaac’s Cathedral in St. Petersburg

© TASS/Sergei Konkov

ST. PETERSBURG, August 20. /TASS/. The St. Petersburg election commission has rejected the documents submitted by a group of activists seeking a referendum on the handover of the city’s landmark St. Isaac’s Cathedral to the Russian Orthodox Church.

St. Isaac’s, the largest Orthodox cathedral in St. Petersburg, currently has the status of a state-run museum annually visited by millions of tourists.

The election commission’s head, Alexei Puchnin, said the referendum petition had a vague wording and did not specify "what should be transferred to whom."

Last month the St. Petersburg diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church confirmed that it had requested the return of St. Isaac’s Cathedral, built in 1858 and transformed into a museum after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution.

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