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Bay City News Report

Monday, August 30, 1999
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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, is Cyrillic characters.

According to the church, such bells are rare even in the former U.S.S.R., 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 undergoing renovation from a fire that occurred early on Orthodox Easter morning, 1998. 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.