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Italian City Gives Funds to Rebuild Greek Othodox Church in New York - 2001-09-27

People all over the world have sent help, donations and signs of solidarity to the people of New York and the United States in the wake of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

Italy's Foreign Minister Renato Ruggiero came to New York to express Italy's solidarity with the United States and readiness to participate in any actions necessary to fight international terrorism.

Mr. Ruggiero also announced a gift from the city of Bari in southern Italy to one of the institutions that fell victim to the devastating attack. "I have brought just a small gesture of solidarity but I believe it is a significant one," he said. "I just received a letter from the Mayor of Bari, who announced that he has created a small fund of 500-thousand dollars in order to participate in the reconstruction of the church of Saint Nicholas."

The gift from a city in overwhelmingly Roman Catholic Italy is especially poignant because Saint Nicholas is a Greek Orthodox church.

In the 1970s when the World Trade Center complex was being constructed Saint Nicholas refused to relinquish its property or give up the old church. Eventually, the developers had to build the complex around the small church.