http://www.bayinsider.com/news/1999/08/30/bells.html

News: Bay Area in partnership with KTVU/Fox2

Priceless bells stolen from SF's oldest Russian Orthodox church


The bells were given by Czar Alexander III to the then fledgling American mission of the Russian church in 1888.


The three bells of the Cathedral

The three missing bells hung in the cathedral at Van Ness and Green Street.

SAN FRANCISCO -- San Francisco's oldest Russian Orthodox church is looking for three of its bells, which thieves stole over the weekend.

The three missing bells belonging to the Holy Trinity Cathedral at Van Ness Avenue and Green Street, were given by Czar Alexander III to the then fledgling American mission of the Russian church in 1888.

The bells were cast in Moscow by N.D. Findlandsky's bell foundry and are adorned with decorative scrollwork. Two of the bells bear the name of the bell maker, Findlandsky, in Cyrillic characters.

According to the church, such bells are rare even in the former Russia, where many bells were destroyed during World War II.

The bells were discovered missing on Saturday night.

The church, which has a total of seven bells, is also undergoing renovation from a fire that occurred early on Orthodox Easter morning, 1998.

The bells survived the 1906 earthquake and their ringing is an integral part of the Orthodox worship. Holy Trinity is the oldest Orthodox cathedral in the United States.

The church urges anyone who may be of help in recovering the bells to contact San Francisco police.

Source: KTVU/Fox2 and Bay City News