: ABC News: Russia trumpets new Orthodox Cathedral in Paris

15:37 Mar. 19, 2016

ABC News: Russia trumpets new Orthodox Cathedral in Paris

A Russian Orthodox cathedral under construction at the Russian Orthodox Spiritual and Cultural Centre along the River Seine, March 14,2016. (Getty Images)

Dome of notorious Russian cathedral is hoisted

A huge golden dome has been hoisted atop a new Russian Orthodox cathedral in the heart of Paris, in a ceremony to inaugurate a controversial project championed by Vladimir Putin.

Dignitaries attended Saturday's special blessing of The Saint Trinity church built on the site of the former headquarters of France's national weather forecasting service - near the Seine River and the Eiffel Tower.

Read also The land of the Russian Orthodox Centre in Paris arrested on Yukos shareholders' claim

The onion dome, which weighs eight tons and is 12 meters high, is the first of five to top the cathedral slated for completion in October.

The site was sold to Russia under former President Nicolas Sarkozy's government amid criticism from rights groups about France's outreach to Putin.

Putin visited the site in 2010 and denied reports it would be used by Russian secret services.

Reporting by ABC News

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