Church escapes auction

Published October 1, 2002


An unfinished Russian Orthodox church in the Ural town of Miass appears to have escaped being auctioned off to meet the debts of the factory that was building it.

The church was put up for auction to help meet the debts of the bankrupt UralAZ heavy truck plant, Moscow?s Kommersant newspaper reported.

Parishioners in Miass feared that they would lose the church as a result. Valery Panov, who took over as administrator of the estate when the factory went into bankruptcy, said he had been obliged by law to put up the church for auction. The church failed to find a buyer.

The factory began building the church in the mid 1990s. But construction stalled in 1998 after the factory ran into financial difficulties and bankruptcy proceedings began.

Mr. Panov now plans to ask the company?s creditors to allow him to give the church to the Russian Orthodox Church.

It has become a matter of prestige since the end of communism for businesses in Russia to sponsor church construction or renovation.


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