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Contract signing ceremony for the interior decoration of the dome of Saint Sava Temple in Belgrade On the Serbian side the contract was signed by the President of the Main Board of the Company for Construction of Saint Sava Temple in Vračar, the Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić and Patriarch Irinej of Serbia. The scope of the project will include the creation of 1,230 square meters of mosaic composition on the interior surface of the main dome of the Temple. The technique of works – mosaic with the use of glass and natural stone. The preparatory works have already been completed in Saint Sava Temple, the largest Orthodox temple in the Balkans. The works of art will be managed by a Russian artist, member of the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Arts, Nikolay Muchin. Conrtact was signed with the presence of the senior state and church officials from Serbia The works on the dome are planned to be completed by the end of the year 2017. A model of the dome, exhibited at the “Russian House” in Belgrade, has been made for the development of the working drawings for the mosaic panel. Following signing of the Agreement, the signatories visited the Temple of Saint Sava Aleksandar Dibalj, member of Gazprom Neft Management Board expressed to the President of Serbia and the Serbian Patriarch his appreciation for allowing this Company to support this important endeavour. He reminded the attendees that Gazprom Neft also supported the restoration of the Russian necropolis in Belgrade, a true symbol of Russian-Serbian friendship. Completion of the dome works is planned for late 2017. “In the context of the humanitarian program implemented by the company in Serbia, ‘Gazprom Neft’ contributes to the development of multi-centurial relationships between Russia and Serbia. We are not only the biggest investor in the Serbian economy, but we also help to preserve the cultural and historical heritage of the Serbian people”, said the member of the Board of Directors of “Gazprom Neft”, Alexander Dybal. Alexander Dybal, the member of the Board of Directors of “Gazprom Neft” Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić thanked the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, who has helped the idea of a donation become reality. “I would like to thank Gazprom Neft Company for allocating in these difficult times substantial funds for the painting of the dome of St. Sava Temple. It is a friendly, brotherly, Christian-Orthodox aid". Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić Patriarch Irinej said that the donation was a symbol of the Serbian-Russian friendship and cement to the unity of our nations: "Russia and Serbia are connected by a common history, culture and our Orthodox Church. Serbian Orthodox Church is deeply grateful for the brotherly and sisterly Russian Church, headed by Patriarch Kirill and the Temple of Saint Sava will be an example of Christian Orthodox art. " Patriarch Irinej Aleksandar Chepurin, Russian Ambassador to Serbia, expressed his hope that all the basic works on the painting of the temple would be completed by 2019, when SPC celebrates 800 years of autocephaly, which is the culmination of Saint Sava's contribution to strengthening of the faith in Serbia. "With the blessing of the Russian Patriarch Kirill, today works will begin on the painting of the dome of St. Sava Temple, with the support of Gazprom Neft," Aleksandar Chepurin said. Aleksandar Chepurin, Russian Ambassador to Serbia "In the last twenty years, the Russian Orthodox Church renewed and built 28 thousand temples. During this time we have gained a wealth of experience, both in construction and in interior decoration. Therefore, we look forward to applying our knowledge and skills in the works on the most magnificent temple in the Balkans,” Metropolitan Ilarion, Chair of the Department of External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchatehe, said on the occasion of signing of the Agreement on Donation. Metropolitan Ilarion, Chair of the Department of External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchatehe Head of the Federal Agency of the Russian Federation Rossotrudničestvo, Lyubov Glebova said that the construction of the Temple of Saint Sava was important for Serbia, Russia but also for entire Europe. Lyubov Glebova, Head of the Federal Agency of the Russian Federation Rossotrudničestvo Saint Sava Temple in Vračar is the most important architectural monument in Serbia and one of the largest Orthodox temples in the world. It was built on the site where the Ottoman rule burned the relics of Saint Sava in 1594. The Temple was designed in the late 19th century, yet its construction began only in 1935, but it had to be postponed due to the outbreak of the Second World War. The raising of the dome was completed in 1989 and the Temple was officially opened in 2004. In implementing the major project aimed at supporting the projects in the field of culture and preservation of the historical heritage of Serbia, “Gazprom Neft” finances the project of creation of a mosaic decoration on the dome of the Temple. The total scope of funding amounts to 4 million euros. The Russian Centre of Science and Culture in Belgrade (“Russian House” in Belgrade) is a representative office of the Federal Agency “Rossotrudnichestvo” in the Republic of Serbia. The main task, as seen by the “Russian House”, is the strengthening of friendly, cultural, international relationships between Russia and Serbia and promotion of the Russian language and Russian science and culture.