Patriarch unveils Kremlin icon hidden after Russian Revolution


MOSCOW (RNS/ENInews) A fresco of Christ on the Kremlin Wall in Moscow plastered over after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution has been rediscovered and presented in a ceremony attended by Patriarch Kirill I of the Russian Orthodox Church and Russian President Dmitri Medvedev.

“The history of these icons is a symbol of what happened with our people in the 20th century,” said Kirill at the ceremony held last Saturday (Aug. 28). “It was claimed that true goals and values and genuine shrines were destroyed, and that faith had disappeared from the lives of our people.”

The fresco of Christ is located over the Spasskaya, or Saviour, tower of the Kremlin, near St. Basil’s Cathedral on Red Square. Experts say it dates to the middle or second half of the 17th century. Another icon, that of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, on the nearby Nikolskaya tower at the opposite end of Red Square, is also being restored.

`What is happening today bears witness to the fact that the combining of forces of the State, Church and institutions of civil society for the sake of achieving mutual and important goals gives us a wonderful example of solidarity,” said Kirill.

Both icons were covered up by restorers who sought to save them from the Bolsheviks, who wanted to destroy them during their revolution against tsarist rule.

President Medvedev thanked Kirill “for participating in the restoration of the icons and also the restoration of the truth”, and said that it will serve to protect Russia.

“I am sure that the discovery and consecration of the icons and restoration of justice will ensure further protection for our country,” said Medvedev.

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Tags: Eastern Orthodox Church, Icons, RNS, Russia, Sophia Kishkovsky