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Kiev authorities support demolition of chapel belonging to canonical Orthodox Church

A petition demanding the pulling down of the chapel near the Church of the Dime was uploaded at the homepage of the Kiev city hall early this year

KIEV, February 9. /TASS/. A commission of the Kiev city hall in charge of urban development, architecture and land amelioration on Friday supported a petition for demolishing a chapel of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church that reports to Moscow Patriarchate.

The chapel is located on the territory of the National History Museum nearby the ruins of the first-ever stone church built in the early medieval Duchy of Kievan Rus [the Church of the Dime].

"The commission supports the petition and instructs the executive body to steer all the necessary and sufficient formalities and legal actions for practical steps on the petition," Ukrinform news agency cited city hall deputy Alexander Kharchenko.

The commission also recommended Kiev Mayor Vitaly Klitshko to support the decision on demolishing the chapel.

The ruins of the Church of the Virgin Mary, also known as the Church of the Dime, are the remnants of the first stone church building ever erected in Kievan Rus. Byzantine and old Russian masters built it between 989 and 1006, during the rule of St. Duke Vladimir, the baptizer of Kievan Rus.

In line with the Eastern Orthodox Tradition, the duke allotted one-tenth of his wealth [a dime] for erecting the stone building.

Former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma issued an order in 2004 to set up a museum in the area adjoining the ruins. The Ministry of Culture and the city committee for urban development and architecture were told to build a commemorative Chapel of the Virgin Mary as part of the project.

A petition demanding the pulling down of the chapel near the Church of the Dime was uploaded at the homepage of the Kiev city hall at the beginning of the year. It rallied the amount of signatures sufficient for launching a process of its scrutiny by the authorities.

On January 25, 2018, Ukrainian far-right radicals from the S14 nationalistic movement cut off the chapel’s interpretive display with the aid of a disk saw

The parishioners of the chapel also sent a request to preserve the chapel to Mayor Klitshko. They gathered 12,000 signatures under an appropriate petition.

On Monday, February 5, the press service of the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office said the Kiev city prosecutorial branch and the National History Museum had decided to declare the chapel ‘an illegal construction object’.

The Culture Ministry issued an instruction to the museum regarding a query to the court in connection with the presence of the chapel on its territory.