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30-06-2011, Nice

Russian Cathedral in Nice closed as its wall partly collapsed

Two-meter piece of plaster collapsed from the Southern nave of St.Nicholas Church in Nice.

"The church is closed. The overhanging wall and other parts of the building are examined," a church parishioner told Interfax-Religion.

The plaster fell down near the commemorative table, by lucky chance a group of visitors had left the site a minute before the collapse.

"Everything was covered with pieces of plaster and dust like after a bombing, and it was a fabulous fresco on the fallen piece. The church is an architectural site and one of the most beautiful church building outside of Russia. As there is a danger of further collapse, the perimeter was barriered with a warning tape," the interviewee of the agency said.

According to him, the cathedral had regularly suffered minor wrecks of the walls and dome, but there has never been such a significant and dangerous collapse.

"It's evident that the so-called Orthodox Association of Nice that have occupied the cathedral many years isn't able to provide proper care for the marvelous church. It's not clear what for the Association spends significant money earned from visitors! Perhaps for continuous lawsuit with the Russian Federation!" the parishioner says.

The interviewee of the agency reminded that French justice twice declared Russia a legal master of the church and the land lot where it is located, but "the Association openly and provocatively ignores it: its non-abiding leaders, including two clerics from the Constantinople Patriarchate openly say they won't obey decision of judicial instances."