Over 70 lost old icons given to the Church
Over 70 antique icons that had been taken out of the Russia following the revolution and during WWII were handed over today by patron Sergei Shmakov as a gift to the Russian Orthodox Church. This charitable act was part of a project blessed by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia. It took the Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation, Alexander Avdeev, and the businessman-patron many trips abroad over the course of a year to find these unique examples of Russian iconography.
"Your help is a great patriotic deed. You could have spent your money on something else, on business development, for example. But instead you are returning to Russia not only sacred treasures, but also cultural treasures, works of art," Mr. Avdeev thanked Mr. Shmakov.
Joining the Minister of Culture to thank the patron was Archimandrite Tikhon (Shevkunov), Abbot of the Moscow Sretensky Monastery and Secretary of the Moscow Patriarchate Cultural Council. "Now these icons will return to the use for which they were created—the tradition of prayer in the Orthodox Church. Now people can see them and venerate them," said Fr. Tikhon.
Among the icons returned were "The Mother of God of the Passion," dated 1794, the icon of the Savior "Made Without Hands," dated from the 17th century, and a rare icon of "St. John the Theologian in Silence," dated from the mid-18th century.
In the words of Mr. Avdeev, scrupulous work was conducted to trace the histories and locations of these old Orthodox icons. They were discovered in the most varied places—at auction houses, in antique stores, and even at street markets. Over 70 icons were acquired as a result of the project, at a total cost of about 30 million rubles (over 900,000 USD). They have all passed expert appraisals, and are in good condition, reports Novosti Kultury.