Wednesday, June 6, 2007
While looking for information on LiveJournal's recent blackout, I ran into this unrelated item (RUS) by Anton Nossik (LJ user dolboeb), one of the people in charge of Sup, the Russian online media company running the “Russian-speaking” segment of LiveJournal in partnership with Six Apart:
The Temple's Money Changers Have Hidden Away the Price Tags
The price list for commercial services rendered at [Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Savior], which had been dug out by the dogged bloggers [...], didn't stay there to delight our eyes for too long. It hasn't even been a week yet, and the price list has been quietly taken out of the Internet users' sight. But it appears that the commercial department of the God's Temple did manage to overcome the pressure from the bosses embarrassed by the leak and prevented the final bankruptcy of its online feeder.
As a result, we have something extremely strange. The price list page is now empty, and the only way to learn about the prices is by reading bloggers' accounts, or by looking into Google's cache. At the same time, the rest of the advertising pages have been left intact and are promoting different kinds of the Temple's money changers' activities. Here, for instance, is an advertisement of services for those who'd like to rent conference halls of [the Cathedral] (with pictures). And here's an ad of the underground garage where some God-fearing Russian oligarchs are hiding their Maybachs, Lamborghinis and Maseratis from the wrath and envy of fellow citizens (the price list for this service is also empty now, but there's a phone number that one can call to specify the prices).
There's even a dry cleaning service at Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral.
LJ user breqwas offers an explanation (RUS) of why so much commerce is taking place inside Russia's main church:
You see, [Christ the Savior Cathedral] does not belong to [the Russian Orthodox Church]. It belongs to the city and is managed by the Christ the Savior Cathedral's Fund, through which they were raising funds for its construction at one point. It was not given over to [the Russian Orthodox Church] allegedly because it costs a lot to maintain such a huge thing, and our Church is poor. And this is why this Fund is raising money the way it can. Why are they doing it like this? First, because it's a free country, and second, because it's Russia. [...]