In France, the court decided that Russia is the rightful owner of the Archangel Michael Orthodox Church in Cannes. The litigation lasted about seven years, according to the publication Global Orthodox with reference to the Telegram channel of journalist Anastasia Popova.
"Our temple! A French court has ruled that Russia is the rightful owner of the Archangel Michael Church in Cannes," she wrote. "Thanks to everyone who, despite the powerful opposition, made efforts, fought, did not give up, worried and hoped. From the French side (liquidator of the association) there is still an opportunity to appeal, but whether she will do it is unclear. Anyway, the decision is historic and very, very long-awaited!" she added.
As stated in the message, it will now be possible to begin the restoration of the building.
Archangel Michael Church is an Orthodox church of the Archdiocese of Orthodox Russian Churches in Western Europe of the Moscow Patriarchate, located in Cannes (France) on Alexander III Boulevard. Built by French architect Louis Nouveau in 1894. The attraction of the Cote d'Azur. Until April 24, 2015, Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolaevich Jr. and his wife Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna were buried in the crypt of the temple. In the crypt of the church remain the graves of Grand Duke Peter Nikolaevich and his wife Grand Duchess Militsa Nikolaevna, as well as Prince Peter of Oldenburg.
The laying of the church in the name of the Holy Archangel Michael with a capacity for 400 people was made with the blessing of Metropolitan Palladius of St. Petersburg and Ladoga on April 23 (May 5), 1894, and its consecration on November 22 (December 4) of the same year. After the consecration of the church, the municipality of Cannes announced its decision to rename the street on which the church was built to Alexander III Boulevard. The church received significant donations from members of the Imperial Family. Thus, Grand Duke Mikhail Mikhailovich donated sacred vessels, the altar cross, the Gospel and a silver censer. Grand Duke Sergei Mikhailovich donated a metal church fence. Prince S.M. Golitsyn - on the head of the temple an openwork cross and two ancient Italian paintings mounted icons: the Savior and the Mother of God. Among the relics of the church are the ark with the relics of John of Kronstadt, Seraphim of Sarov and Simeon of Verkhotursky.
Russian Russian Army's parish assisted wounded soldiers and officers of the Expeditionary Corps of the Russian Army in France during the First World War, who were treated at the Cannes Auxiliary Hospital No. 203. Many of them are buried in the city cemetery of Grand-Jas, where a majestic marble cross was erected over the common grave of Russian and Serbian soldiers. After the October Revolution of 1917, numerous weddings, baptisms and funerals of members of the Russian imperial family and other aristocrats who fled Russia took place within the walls of the temple. Among the first members of the community was Alexander Pushkin's granddaughter, Sofia Merenberg (Countess of Thornby). The wedding of Grand Duke Andrey Vladimirovich with ballerina Matilda Kshesinskaya took place in the church in 1921.
In May 2002, the parish association of the Cannes church, following its rector, voted to transfer to the jurisdiction of the non-canonical ROCOR (B), and Barnabas (Prokofiev) in the schism became known as the "Archbishop of Cannes and Europe". After Barnabas returned from the schism in 2006, the church was administered by the ROCOR. However, Barnabas' activities in the schism and after his return from it led to the initiation of a number of lawsuits against him.
On May 22, 2014, at the general meeting of the association, Archpriest Vladimir Jagiello, the long-time rector of the Church of the Sign in Paris, was chosen rector of the Cannes Church. Archbishop Job (Gecha), the administrator of the Archdiocese of the Orthodox Russian Churches in Western Europe (the Patriarchate of Constantinople), issued a decree on the admission of the Cannes parish to his jurisdiction.
In September 2019, the parish community supported Archbishop John (Renneto), the administrator of the Archdiocese, who decided to join the Moscow Patriarchate.