16 September 2010, 17:45
Ilyumzhinov offers to build chess center instead of mosque in New York
Moscow, September 16, Interfax - President of the World Chess Federation (FIDE) Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has offered to the mayor of New York to buy a land plot, where the Islamic community plans to build a mosque, and to erect a world chess center there.
"Today I sent a letter to the mayor of New York, Mr. Bloomberg, and the owner of the land plot located not far from the former twin towers, offering to buy this land plot for $10 million and to erect a world chess center in this place," Ilyumzhinov told Interfax on Thursday.
"The New York Muslim community have proposed to build a mosque here, thus sparking a huge controversy and even a split within the American society. What I am proposing is not to divide people on the basis of religion and ethnicity, but to unite the public around such a great game as chess," he said.
"The decision to put forward such an initiative was backed by all members of the FIDE presidential board," Ilyumzhinov said.
"If this offer is accepted, the world chess center will be built in the form of a chess figure, the king, of glass and concrete, which will decorate the city of New York," he said.
"The world chess center will house an international chess academy, an international chess school for children, as well as halls for chess tournaments, where chess will be played round the clock," the FIDE president said.
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