AP Photo/Michel Euler

TASS – 21/7/16

The Russian Orthodox Spiritual and Cultural center in Paris held its inaugural opening on Wednesday.

The center, which was under construction since 2014, was built on the Branly embankment, in the historic center of the French capital.

The opening was attended by Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, as well as Russia’s Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky and representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate.

“The construction of this unique facility is an evident testimony to the strength of cultural and humanitarian relations between France and Russia, evidence of the mutual intention of our countries to continue a constructive dialogue,” said Russian President Vladimir Putin in a statement read by Medinsky. “The process of receiving permission for the project was not easy, but the continued support of the French government helped the completion of all of the work on schedule.”

Medinsky said that “the center will open its doors to anyone who is interested in the history of our country, our scientific and cultural accomplishments, for those who want to learn Russian. And the Holy Trinity Cathedral will without a doubt play an important role for the [Russian] Orthodox people in Paris.”

The complex consists of a French-Russian elementary school, a bookstore, a cultural center, exhibition facilities, a coffee shop, and the highlight – the Holy Trinity Cathedral.