Russia’s plans to build a spiritual and cultural center on the banks of the Seine River will not be affected by the Paris mayor’s opposition to the project, Viktor Khrekov, a spokesman for the Russian presidential affairs department, said on Tuesday.
Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe on Monday slammed the project, which envisions the construction of a Russian Orthodox church with five golden domes near the Eiffel Tower on an area recognized by Unesco as a world heritage site. He said the project would ruin the harmony of the city’s historic district.
“This is his personal opinion. The prefecture gives permission for construction, and it [the mayor’s opinion] has no legal significance,” Khrekov said in response to Delanoe’s criticism.
Khrekov said an official request for the construction was filed in late January, and will be under consideration for at least six months.
Russia won the tender for the plot of land in downtown Paris in 2010. In late January 2012, it filed an official request for the construction of an Orthodox church and a cultural center. The plot on Quai Branly is currently occupied by the French national meteorological service, Meteo France, which is to be relocated.
The project, developed by a group of French and Russian architects under the guidance of Spain’s Manuel Nunez Yanowsky, was chosen from dozens of others by an international jury, Khrekov recalled.
Earlier it was reported that Moscow expected to obtain the permission for the construction in spring 2012.