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Yekaterinburg mayor rejects governor's proposal to rule out controversial construction site for new cathedral

Source: Interfax

The mayor of Yekaterinburg has rejected a proposal by the region’s governor to cancel the construction of a cathedral at a downtown public park. Alexander Vysokinsky says he’s not yet ready to remove October Square from the list of possible sites for St. Catherine’s Cathedral, and still wants to make it an option in an upcoming citywide poll that’s intended to resolve the controversy once and for all.

Vysokinsky has promised to discuss the issue with Sverdlovsk Governor Yevgeny Kuivashev, who a day earlier asked him to remove October Square Park from the list of potential construction sites, following a new sociological study by the state-run agency VTSIOM, which found that 74 percent of the city’s inhabitants think the current site is a poor choice. Members of the Yekaterinburg Diocese have supported Mayor Vysokinsky’s position.

On May 13, unpermitted protests erupted in response to the start of construction of a new cathedral in Yekaterinburg’s October Square Park (one of the few public spaces in the center of the city). Three days later, Vladimir Putin publicly suggested polling local residents to measure support for the project. Hours later, city officials endorsed the idea. The mayor’s office subsequently suspended construction work and dismantled the wall around the site.