Russian social-media has been going crazy after a watch mysteriously vanished from Patriarch Kirill I’s wrist, this week.
On Wednesday night, astute net-surfers observed that The Patriarch, sat leaning on a table with a polished and highly reflective surface, could clearly be seen wearing a watch. The problem was that the watch could only be seen in the reflection and was nowhere to be seen on the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church’s wrist.
Stranger still, a quick search of the web revealed a cached version of an identical image, except, this time, the watch was also clearly sill on his wrist. A longer search further revealed that there were several other images, where the watch vanished into thin air after an update of the website.
Criticism was quick to be aimed at the Patriarchy, as they claimed all content on its website was untouched and original. Evidence suggested that not only had they been proven false, but that they had deliberately edited the photos, due to recent attention towards the clergy’s luxury lifestyle.
The next day, the Patriarchy offered an explanation placing the blame on a secular worker in charge of their web content. She was named as a 24 year old woman who engaged in a ridiculous mistake.
This is not the first time that the Patriarch’s choice of time-piece has caused a public scandal. When he visited the Ukraine in the summer of 2009, his lavish watch caused similar outrage.
Just as the Russian Orthodox Church were emphasising the virtues of an austere and simple lifestyle, in order combat the global economic crisis, the Patriarch was snapped wearing a Breguet watch, worth somewhere between £2,500 and £3,000.
On the more recent outrage, The Church has claimed that the timepiece was either a gift from a friend, with its true value unknown to the Patriarch, or a hoax.
Just what kind of hoax they mean is unclear. Presumably they mean the Patriarch bought it for a couple of pennies, while on holiday in Spain. Perhaps more likely, is the idea that it is a joke watch, given to the Patriarch as a prank, due to its invisible (yet reflective) qualities.
Over the years, patriarch Kirill and other high members of The Russian Orthodox Church have been connected with several other expensive commodities, including cars, swimming pools and property. They have also been linked with the tobacco and alcohol trade.
The Patriarch has said that he is the target of a propaganda campaign, organized by anti-Church groups in the country.
Written by Kris, for Swiss Time Machine, provider of quality, used Swiss watches.