Narva cathedral to be bought by Estonian state and Lutheran church for 375,000€
While the decision has yet to be finalized, the Estonian Government and the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church (EELK) have reached an agreement with creditors to pay the latter 375,000 euros for the purchase of St. Alexander’s Cathedral in Narva.
Of this amount, half will be paid for from the state budget while the other half will be covered by the EELK, Minister of the Interior Hanno Pevkur announced at an Estonian Government press conference.
This sum will also cover the purchase of cemeteries which had been the responsibility of the congregation to maintain but will now be placed under the management of Ida-Viru County’s Vaivara Parish.
The Estonian Government is slated to finalize their decision regarding the purchase of the Narva cathedral, which both Pevkur and Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas have stressed must remain in public use, during its session next week.
Viru County Court declared the St. Alexander’s congregation of Narva bankrupt in April 2015 due to the small congregation’s inability to meet financial obligations taken on in connection with the renovations of the cathedral building. The bankruptcy petition was filed by construction company AS Eviko; the congregation’s debt at the time allegedly amounted to more than 2.1 million euros.
The state spent more than 2 million euros to help restore the Lutheran cathedral, one million of which was provided via a regional competitive program of the Enterprise Estonia foundation.
In April of this year, the Estonian archbishop announced a fundraising campaign to support the bankrupt St. Alexander’s congregation of Narva and buy out the cathedral, as it was put up for auction with the starting price set at 500,000 euros by creditors who had seized building after the congregation declared bankruptcy.
The auction for the cathedral was called off altogether in early May, however, after the cancellation had been requested by several parties, including the Ministry of the Interior.