Romanian People Salvation Cathedral

Romanian People Salvation Cathedral

The Cathedral for the Salvation of Romanian People (Romanian:Catedrala Mântuirii Neamului Românesc) is a proposed Romanian Orthodox cathedral to be built in Bucharest.

The construction project and especially its location have been subject of heated national debates. The current project explicitly displays architectural detail from all Romanian provinces and territories.

Select committees of the Romanian Senate and the Mayor of Bucharest had been reviewing different variants well in advance of October 2004. This edifice will also serve as the Cathedral for the Patriarchate of the Romanian Orthodox Church.

History

However, details of this particular project were unveiled in 1877, when Romania became a modern nation, having fought in and won the Independence War against the Ottoman Empire.

The Romanian Senate voted favorably on October 12 2004 for its construction.

Location

The first proposed location was in Carol Park, in the place of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Bucharest, but after protests by the press and by Bucharesters, as well as conflicts with the then-Mayor of Bucharest, Traian Băsescu, the site was changed to Izvor Park (right near the Palace of the Parliament).

The Orthodox Church received 11 hectares from the Romanian government and it will use 5 of them for the building.

Size

The chosen project is supposed to have a height of 114 m, being taller than the Palace of the Parliament. The sheer size of the building drew criticism from various sources, including the French newspaper Le Figaro, which named it "a pharaonic project" and "worthy of the megalomania of Nicolae Ceauşescu".

Cost and financing

The cost of the cathedral was estimated in 2006 by Evenimentul Zilei at more than €500 million (including the price of the land), while Le Figaro estimated it in 2008 at €1 billion.

An official evaluation of the costs will be estimated only when the project will be finished, in spring 2008.

The government announced it will donate 30 million lei (€8 million) and the Romanian Parliament enacted a law by which half of the cost of the Cathedral will be paid from the state budget.

This action received criticism from various sources: Daniel Dăianu, a Liberal European MP noted that the government has to reduce other parts of the budget in order to be able to pay for this and that it is a populist spending. Remus Cernea, the head of the Solidaritatea pentru libertatea de conştiinţă Association sent a complaint to the government regarding the donation of public funds to the Orthodox Church, and announced they will sue the government for not respecting the laws regarding the discrimination of religious movements.

References

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