Orthodox church hit by two arson attacks seeks €500,000 towards restoration
The congregation of a Russian Orthodox church in the Ida-Viru County town of Narva-Jõesuu is hoping that a combination of the state and private donations will provide the half-a-million euros needed to restore the church, a wooden structure which suffered two separate arson attacks last year.
The Church of the Icon of the Mother of God of Kazan has already received some support from the state heritage board, but still requires around €500,000 to complete the work, ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) reported Monday night.
Parish priest Korneli Morozov told AK that: "We will be partly helped by the state, while part of the financial help will be found from Narva residents and members of our congregation."
"This church is special to everyone, baptisms, funerals, weddings have taken place here," he added.
"We hope to receive help and as soon as possible people will see that the restoration work has begun, then they will certainly support us financially so that the church can be restored. Let's start from the first stage, with the restoration of the wooden body of the church building," he said.
The Church of the Icon of the Mother of God of Kazan, in Narva-Jõesuu, a resort town around 15 km from Narva, was constructed in the 19th century.
The church was hit by two arson attacks, in February and in June last year, with over 100 objects of high cultural value, including a collection of Orthodox art dating from the latter half of the 19th century, damaged in the first incident.
The building itself was badly damaged in both attacks, with restoration likely to cost €600,000.
While police said that both incidents involved arson, no culprits have been reported to have been apprehended as yet.
€100,000 has been allocated by the National Heritage Board (Muinsuskaitseamet), leaving half a million still to be found.
The congregation hopes that the restoration work will be completed by the end of 2022, AK reported.
The church is organizationally a part of the Moscow Patriarchate and separate from the Estonian Orthodox Church, part of the Constantinople Patriarchate.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte