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07 December 2012

"Moscow-on-Seine": a new Russian Orthodox cathedral is to be built close to the Eiffel Tower in Paris, despite the Mayor of the city's describing it as unsuitably ostentatious.

The Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, visited Paris last week, and broached the subject of the cathedral in talks with his French counterpart, Jean-Marc Ayrault. At a joint press conference afterwards, the pair insisted that the project to build a large cathedral and cultural centre would go ahead.

Mr Ayrault said that the project was "symbolic of our strengthening relationship", but that the design needed to be amended and "some obstacles removed".

The Mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoë, had described the project, which includes five domes and an undulating glass roof, as "pastiche architecture", and an "ostentation totally unsuitable for the banks of the Seine".

The design, by a Spanish architect and a Russian company, has been dubbed "Moscow-on-Seine" by Parisians.


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