2012-03-26 10:01:00

Moscow gay prides activist demands to bring back a swimming pool located in the site of Christ the Savior Cathedral

***He believes this church is an artificial installation

Moscow, March 26, Interfax - Initiator of Moscow gay prides Nikolay Alexeyev intends to hold a referendum on reviving the Moskva Pool that was once located in the site of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior.

"The Moskva Pool is a historic reality, it can't be ignored, it's similar to ruling 70 years of Soviet power out of our life. The church was erected, but the swimming pool was not restored, and I swam there, my parents swam there," Alexeyev told Interfax-Religion.

"You have built a church? Then you should re-build the swimming pool in another place. We are going to arrange a referendum in Moscow on the question. The law allows it," the interviewee of the agency said.

According to him, this idea is "a grotesque, an attempt to attract attention to the fact that a certain religious organization crossed the borders." He points out that he is a baptized Orthodox person, but stands for a secular state.

"The Cathedral of Christ the Savior in downtown Moscow is an artificial thing, it has nothing in common with reality. It was a certain symbol of triumph for Luzhkov's power, it has nothing to do with religion either," Alexeyev said.

He wanders how "they could build a church instead of the swimming pool and now be displeased that someone wants to return a swimming pool that is more useful than blurring people's minds."

Emperor Alexander I signed a manifest declaring his intention to build a Cathedral in honor of Christ the Savior when Napoleon Bonaparte retreated from Moscow on 25 December 1812 as a memorial to the sacrifices of the Russian people in the war. After the Revolution, the prominent site of the cathedral was chosen by the Soviets as the site for a monument to socialism known as the Palace of the Soviets. However, its construction was interrupted owing to a lack of funds and the outbreak of war. Under Nikita Khrushchev, it was transformed into the world's largest open air swimming pool, named Moskva Pool. In February 1990, the Russian Orthodox Church received permission from the government to rebuild the Cathedral of Christ the Savior.