Thursday, April 5, 2012

PHOTO EDITING:“The guilty will be severely punished.”

Russian Church Admits Photo Was Altered to Hide Patriarch’s Watch By MICHAEL SCHWIRTZ and ROBERT MACKEY

Russian bloggers have expressed particular outrage about the patriarch’s watch, rumored to be a Breguet time piece worth tens of thousands of dollars.


 In an interview with a prominent Russian television journalist this week, Patriarch Kirill admitted for the first time that he did in fact own the Breguet watch in question, but insisted that he had never worn it. The watch, he said, was in a box that he only recently found among a collection of gifts he had received over the years. As for photographs that appear to show him wearing the watch, he said he suspected that they had been created through digital manipulation. It is not likely that the apology will put an end to the debate about the watch or dampen the increasingly barbed discussions of the church’s role in Russian society. Over the last decade, the church has grown immensely powerful, becoming so close to the Kremlin that it often seems like a branch of government. It has extended its influence into a broad spectrum of public life, from schools to courts to politics. Patriarch Kirill publicly backed Vladimir V. Putin in last month’s presidential election.

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