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Russia's St. Petersburg government still undecided on giant statue of Jesus

July 11, 19:24 UTC+3 ST. PETERSBURG
Tthe potential sites for the statue designed by sculptor Zurab Tsereteli are situated on the outskirts of Russia's second-largest city
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© ITAR-TASS/Russian Academy of Arts

ST. PETERSBURG, July 11. /TASS/. The authorities of St. Petersburg have officially denied making any decision as of yet as to installing an enormous statue to Jesus Christ designed by sculptor Zurab Tsereteli in the city.

"On July 8, 2016, news agencies circulated a statement siting the press secretary for the Committee for City Planning and Architecture as saying ‘the governor of St. Petersburg has given instructions to find location for an 80-meter-high statue of Jesus Christ by sculptor Zurab Tseretali’," the press service of the governor’s administration said on Monday. "This information is not factually correct," it said.

The administration confirmed, however, that the government had received a proposal to install a Tseretali-designed monument in the city and was "preparing a reasoned answer" at the moment.

It said Vice Governor Igor Albin had ordered the Committee for City Planning and Architecture to consider possible land plots for erecting the sculpture given its huge dimensions and a need to comply with the height restrictions legislation.

The administration said the potential sites for the statue were situated on the outskirts of St. Petersburg.

The statue that does not fit within the building height parameters of St. Petersburg, could be located in the neighboring northwestern Leningrad region. Its press service said at least two potential land plots had been found not far from St. Petersburg.

Meanwhile, the St. Petersburg archdiocese said it would not interfere in discussions on plans to erect an enormous statue of Jesus Christ.

"This is a matter for secular authorities," said Natalya Rodomanova, the head of the St. Petersburg archdiocese’s communications department, remarking that erecting colossal statues is not customary in Eastern Christianity.

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