FIDE has requested the New York authorities to sell the land of the Twin Towers to create a chess center, announced FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov at a press conference on Thursday.
“We turned to the mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, who is also owner of this land, with a proposal to buy it for $10 million. We are now waiting for an answer and are ready to send our representatives,” said Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.
Last week’s proposal for “Ground Zero” by Donald Trump is 7,5 million dollars, while earlier a proposal for $100 million dollar Muslim center at 200 meters from the land has also been made. The future name of the FIDE construction is supposed to be “World Chess Center”.
Ilyumzhinov offers to build chess center instead of mosque in New York
16 September 2010, 17:45
Moscow, September 16, Interfax – President of the World Chess Federation (FIDE) Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has offered to the mayor of New York to buy a land plot, where the Islamic community plans to build a mosque, and to erect a world chess center there.
“Today I sent a letter to the mayor of New York, Mr. Bloomberg, and the owner of the land plot located not far from the former twin towers, offering to buy this land plot for $10 million and to erect a world chess center in this place,” Ilyumzhinov told Interfax on Thursday.
“The New York Muslim community have proposed to build a mosque here, thus sparking a huge controversy and even a split within the American society. What I am proposing is not to divide people on the basis of religion and ethnicity, but to unite the public around such a great game as chess,” he said.
“The decision to put forward such an initiative was backed by all members of the FIDE presidential board,” Ilyumzhinov said.
“If this offer is accepted, the world chess center will be built in the form of a chess figure, the king, of glass and concrete, which will decorate the city of New York,” he said.
“The world chess center will house an international chess academy, an international chess school for children, as well as halls for chess tournaments, where chess will be played round the clock,” the FIDE president said.
New move: Chess group wants to buy New York mosque building
Sep 16, 2010, 17:03 GMT
New York – The World Chess Federation (FIDE) is reportedly bidding for the Manhattan building where an Islamic centre is projected to be build, the New York Post said Thursday.
The newspaper said that FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov of Russia has sent a letter on the group’s behalf to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg offering to buy the building, which is just two blocks from the World Trade Center site, and convert it into an international chess centre and an academy.
‘We named the sum of 10 million dollars because last week billionaire Donald Trump gave an offer of 7.5 million dollars, and we decided to outdo him,’ The Post said, citing a report of the Russian RIA Novosti.
Ilyumzhinov was president of Russia’s Buddhist region of Kalmykia until last week. He was reported to have built a complex that he called ‘Chess City’ in Kalmykia’s capital Elista. He is currently serving a new term as FIDE president after a fierce contest with Russian chess champion Anatoly Karpov.
The mosque project at 45-47 Park Place in Lower Manhattan under Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf has sparked a strong opposition in the United States because of its proximity to Ground Zero. The building is owned by Egyptian businessman Hashim Elzanaty, who bought it for 4.8 million dollars wanted to sell for a profit after the project became hotly debated.
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