13 August 2018, 12:58
Teenage Satanist suspected of setting fire to wooden church in Karelia
Petrozavodsk, August 13, Interfax - A teenager is suspected of setting fire to the Uspenskaya (Dormition) Church in Kondopoga (Karelia), a wooden church dating back to the 18th century, which was destroyed by fire last week, an informed source told Interfax.
"A 15-year-old student is suspected. He identifies himself as a Satanist. Says that he simply didn't like the church," the source said.
The head of the regional branch of the Emergency Situations Ministry, Sergey Shugayev, told Interfax the church started burning from the outside.
"The fire started spreading from the northern side of the church, so the church warden didn't notice it immediately," Shugayev said.
The restoration of the church would cost about 80 million rubles, according to Tatyana Vakhrameyeva, a conservation architect and a member of the expert board of Rosokhrankultura, the Russian federal service that monitors compliance with cultural heritage protection law.
"It's hard to say for sure, but if we imagine that the restoration would include the renovation of the interior and all the technical and engineering systems, this could be up to 80 million rubles. It's necessary now to sort out what's left under the supervision of specialists. The remaining elements that can be utilized during the restoration, including as patterns, can't just be thrown away, they need to be sorted out and carefully examined," Vakhrameyeva said.
Emergency services received a report about a fire at the Dormition Church in Kondopoga on the morning of August 10. Firefighters spent two hours trying to extinguish it, but the church was destroyed. The Karelian Cultural Heritage Protection Office told Interfax that several theories were being pursued, including careless handling of fire by tourists.
The 42-meter Dormition Church, a monument of the trans-Onega wooden architecture, was built in 1774. It was located on the coast of the Kondopoga Bay in Lake Onega.