The Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church in the occupied Simferopol submitted an application to the Federal Agency for Management of State Property of Russia on transfer control of 24 objects of the Chersonesos museum-reserve.
According to Director of the museum Svetlana Melnikova, the Diocese sent the application in November 2016, and if it is granted, the activities of the museum complex will become impossible since it will be deprived of almost the entire property.
“We must understand that those buildings claimed by the Diocese of Simferopol, make up the exhibition area of the museum, storage facilities and restoration workshops,” the director said.
Earlier, the Russian agency rejected the application because of the incomplete set of documents. At the moment, the priests do not give up their claims on the property of the museum-reserve and collect the necessary papers.
According to the OSCE report, following the Russian annexation of Crimea, the priority in development of the Chersonesus Tauride Museum-Reserve has changed in line with the statement of the Russian President about the importance of Chersonesos as a place sacred to "the Russian statehood", "the cradle of the Baptism of Russia" and "Russian Orthodoxy." Much attention is currently given to the implementation of the project" Sevastopol-Hersonissos – Font of Christian Russia".