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Concern over the Basilica's Tight, Steep Stairs


Wednesday, 6 December 2006, 18:04

Television crews have already arrived at Saint Stephen's Basilica, where Ferenc Puskás will be laid to his final rest on Saturday. In the neighbourhood of the basilica, work continues to finish the road reconstruction. The only cause for worry is the tight, steep staircase that leads down into the crypt.

I wouldn't do this, even for a football player," said a security man in Saint Stephen's Basilica. The utterly helpful In-Kal (security company) employee does not understand why there should be all this pomp, why it was not possible to arrange a funeral in peace and quiet, why it was necessary to plan Ferenc Puskás's last journey with all these trappings

Television crews have already arrived at the basilica, and many lights and tripods are already in place. Work on the neighbouring roads continues apace. While the completion of this work was originally promised for March, it seems they want to move this up to Saturday, since the expected crowds should not have to wait to get in on torn up streets. They work on both sides of the street, opposite the entrance, and if they continue at this rate, the work will probably be finished by Saturday.

As early as Thursday, those who loved and respected him may bid farewell to the former football player, who was chosen best sportsman of the 20th century. For two days, from ten in the morning till eight at night, all may come to pay their respects. The coffin will be set out under the cupola all Saturday morning. From here, on Saturday, it will be taken to Puskás Stadium, where, starting at 4 p.m., a one-hour memorial event will be held. Then, passing Heroes' Square, the coffin will be transported on a gun carriage back to the basilica in order to bid a final farewell to the legend with a Catholic ceremony.

At the end of the farewell on Saturday, only a small circle of family members will take part in the consecration of his burial site and his commitment to his final resting place. In the crypt, there are six thousand urn repositories, which cost between four and five hundred thousand forints. These are eternal resting places, and three urns can fit in one repository. There is room for altogether six coffins in the crypt. These places cost three million forints each.

To get to the crypt, one must leave the basilica and re-enter through a separate door on the side of the building. As we know, there is concern over the steep staircase, where it will be difficult to carry the coffin. Indeed, the way is narrow and winding. Hungarian Television (channels 1 and 2), as well as Duna Television and Hungarian Radio, will broadcast the memorial live.

Airport Terminal Named After Puskás

The management of the company which operates the FlyBalaton airport in Sármellék - in honour of the best footballer of all time and the 20th century's best known Hungarian, Ferenc Puskás - will name the new terminal building, which was erected in May 2006, after Ferenc Puskás. The statement submitted by FlyBalaton to the Hungarian News Service relates that in May, they received permission from the family to use his name.

In one of the prominent areas of the terminal building, visitors can get to know the history of Puskás Ferenc's career and that of the Golden Team from photos and displays. The naming ceremony will take place with the participation of a Hungarian former championship team and the Budesliga league, as well as the presence of distinguished foreign guests, in Spring 2007.


Source: Index

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