NEWS: Situation...p.2

The archimandrite Siluane made no concession. He was accused by the press of narrow-mindedness and of being incapable of making the slightest compromise. According to Article n°25 of the Ukrainian Law of 08/06/2000 which refers to the protection of cultural heritage "both legal and physical parties are bound to insure the integrity of the monuments occupying the land they farm".

According to Article n°125 of the Ukrainian Land Code, "the owner of a land parcel has the right to build lodgings and any other industrial structures and buildings". Article n°125 also says: "the owner of a land parcel is bound to enclose his lot". According to the conclusion of the report n° 427 of 29/08/2005 concerning the possibility of building an enclosure for the monastery, as stated by the Crimea branch of the Archaeological Institute of the Academy of National Sciences of Ukraine (Ref. n°140), on the 1st of November 2006 the monastery of the Holy Dormition officially addressed M. Kretov, the representative of municipality in Bakchisaray, with a request for authorisation to carry out a study of the feasability of building an enclosure surrounding the whole area of the monastery.

A copy of the conclusion of the above-mentioned report was presented for consultation to the Park of Game Reserve, History and Culture in Bakchisaray.

Meanwhile the media started a campaign of defamation against the monastery. Thus, on 09/11/2006 on the Zigabiznessinform website an article appeared entitled: "Conflict looming in Crimea: monuments in danger". On 18/11/2006 the n°218 of the newspaper "The Government Press" published an article by Alexandre Kulik entitled "Conflict out of disagreement".

The representative of the Ukrainian President in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, M. Moskal Guennady, declared that an act of possession for the monastery¹s land is not available because the Museum of Game Reserve owns property documents for the same land going back to 1960. Consequently the Court called in a prosecutor.

In fact, the copy of the State Act produced by the Game Reserve was skilfully faked, with an illegible stamp. A thorough examination of the document proves that it actually concerns the Museum of city-caves which disappeared 5 years ago.

The question of the coarse forgery appears to concern nobody and the prosecutor seems incapable of making any decision. Moreover, public opinion is being actively manipulated: it is rumoured for instance that the monastery would forbid Muslims access to the Zindjirli-medressa and the Gasi-Mansur cemetery.

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