Measures for the conservation of Church monuments discussed at the next meeting of governors and abbess stavropegic monasteries

    

25 September 2018 at the Holy Trinity-Sergius Lavra held a regular meeting of governors and abbess of stavropegic convents, reports the Synodal Department for monasteries and monasticism.

The meeting was preceded by the divine Liturgy at the Trinity Cathedral of the monastery, headed by the Abbot of the monastery of St. Sergius, Archbishop of Sergiev Posad Feognost.

In the altar, prayed the Bishop of Dmitrov Theophylact.

At the Liturgy in the temple prayed: Deputy Chairman of the Synodal Department for monasteries and monasticism, abbess of the convent stavropegic monastery abbess Juliana (Kaleda); prioress of mother of God-Christmas stavropegic monastery hegumeness Quiz (Perminova); superior of the stavropegic monastery of Martha and Mary convent of mercy abbess Elisabeth (Pozdnyakova); superior of the stavropegic monastery of St. John of St. Petersburg abbess Lyudmila (Voloshin).

After the service began scheduled meeting.

The Presidium was attended by the Archbishop of Sergiev Posad Feognost, Chairman of the Synodal Department for monasteries and monasticism, Abbot of Holy Trinity St. Sergius Lavra; Bishop of Dmitrov Theophylact, vicar of his Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia, the Governor of the Andreevsky monastery of; Paramon Bishop of Bronnitsy, vicar of his Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia, Abbot of the Donskoy Stavropegial monastery; Bishop Domodedovskaya John, vicar of his Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia, Abbot of the Novospassky stavropegic monastery; Archimandrite Stephan (Cockroaches), Deputy Chairman of the Synodal Department for monasteries and monasticism; Archpriest Leonid Kalinin, a member of the Patriarchal Council for culture, Chairman of the expert Council on Church art, architecture and restoration; superior conception stauropegic monastery of abbess Juliana (Kaleda), Deputy Chairman of the Synodal Department for monasteries and monasticism; A. N. Batalov, Deputy Director General of Museum-preserve “the Moscow Kremlin”, Professor, honored worker of arts of Russia, member of Presidium of scientific-methodical Council under the Ministry of culture of the Russian Federation, Deputy Chairman of the expert Council on Church art, architecture and restoration.

The meeting was also attended by the assistant Chairman of the Synodal Department for monasteries and monasticism in the preservation and use of cultural heritage objects S. A. Anokhin.

Opening the meeting, the Bishop of Bronnitsy Paramon announced the order of his Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill is to hold a meeting with governors and ihamaniemi monasteries of the city of Moscow on the education sub-Commission under the President of the Russian Federation on the reconstruction and restoration of monasteries.

In his speech, the Bishop Paramon also said that the Primate of the Church approved the work plan of the subgroup that, among the priority tasks is to unite the efforts for the restoration of the monasteries and the elimination of problems faced by the abbots and abbess at the present time. In pursuance of an order of the monasteries of Moscow is necessary in a certain period to prepare the documentation about the objects, which are subject to restoration; to provide an inventory for each facility (project documentation, if any, and proposed funding indicating the objects which have already been undergoing restoration work). Speakers drew the attention of governors and abbess of monasteries in the fact that, to date monasteries had filed the information in the Financial and economic management only individual objects, but now each monastery is invited to draw up a detailed list of all objects in need of restoration.

Archpriest Leonid Kalinin explained to the participants the reason for the emergence of such areas of work of the Church, as drevlehranilische, which was created as an internal system for the protection of monuments. As a measure designed to ensure the safety of the material and cultural heritage of the Russian Orthodox Church, now with the blessing of his Holiness Patriarch in the state of 100 dioceses established the position of diocesan drevlehranilische. In agreement with the ruling Bishop of the diocesan drevlehranilische is intended to prevent acts aimed at damage to or destruction of cultural heritage. The responsibility is also a professional collaboration with the Museum community and the state bodies of protection of monuments.

Currently, the Expert Council for religious art, architecture and restoration of the instruction on organization of works on restoration and repair of monuments, transferred to the Church. The instructions are developed in accordance with the legislative regulations in force in the Russian state, published on the website of the Expert Council on religious art and restoration and will be recommended to guide the work of both the governors (and igumenia abbots) of the monasteries and the abbots of the temples. Further, Archpriest Leonid, read the document “About measures on the preservation of Church monuments,” which will soon be sent out by the Management of the Affairs of the Moscow Patriarchate to all the dioceses.

About measures for the conservation of Church monuments:

1. The architectural look of the monastery complexes, urban and rural churches and chapels, their paintings, historical, iconography, icons, liturgical vessels, vestments must be considered and protected as part of the history of the Holy Church, her spiritual experiences and memory of the piety of our ancestors;

2. Program any works leading to changes in the appearance and interior of the temples, built before 1917, to the development of project documentation (to be performed by licensed restoration project organizations with the blessing of the diocesan Bishop) shall be submitted to the diocesan telegenically and/or diocesan architectural art Commission. When treatment is applied, the description of the proposed works and photographs of the alleged change parts of the temple;

3. Concept development, restoration works and/or designs of restoration on the monuments included in the register of UNESCO world heritage site, and also on the diocesan monuments of Federal importance are submitted for consideration by the Advisory Council on Church art, architecture and restoration. Documents are provided in the form of an album format, A-3, a short historical background and description of the work. Any further negotiation is possible only after receiving a written positive decision of the Expert Council;

4. Any arbitrary distortion of historical and architectural forms of temples and other buildings, the destruction and distortion of the works of icon painting and monumental painting in the churches in accordance with the Legislation of the Russian Federation and other countries of jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church is a criminal offence. In this regard, without the consent of the diocesan drevlehranilische (and/or bodies of the state protection of monuments) are prohibited:

4.1. To bring down, to arbitrarily rewrite (entirely or partially), and arbitrarily append murals;

4.2. The abbots and priors of convents, monasteries, monastic backyards, the priors of the cathedrals and parish churches to replace the iconostases and icons in them;

4.3. Without written consent of the diocesan drevlehranilische to move (withdraw) or to pay for the restoration of historical (up to 1917) interior elements of churches, including: the icon stands, iconostasis, historical lamps, candlesticks, chandeliers, fences, salt, and liturgical vessels.

5. In the preparation of unheated churches-monuments for the autumn-winter period of preservation and in deriving the temples in operation in the spring and summer to strictly follow the Recommendations developed by the Expert Council on Church art, architecture and restoration.

6. For failure to comply with paragraphs 4 and 5 to set up a personal (personal) liability of the rector, governors and priors of monasteries.

    

Then, the expert explained that if the Ministry of culture of the Russian Federation ordered to carry out restoration work in a certain period, and the monastery there is no possibility to fulfill them, you must seek the advice of the Patriarchal Council for culture or the Advisory Council on Church art, architecture and restoration. Archpriest Leonid also drew attention of the meeting participants that each year the Advisory Council asks the Ministry of culture the data on detected cases of violation of the legislation of the Russian Federation in the sphere of preservation of cultural heritage. Information about all the violations is provided to his Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill.

A. Batalov, Chairman of the scientific-methodical Council under the Department of cultural heritage, head of the section of restoration of monuments of architecture of the Federal scientific and methodological Council, noted the high importance of the meeting, held in the walls of the monastery. Mr Kostin recalled that during the reign of Emperor Nicholas I and the father superior Abbot of the monastery was St. Philaret (Drozdov), the first of the glorified Church of the metropolitans, who drew attention to the importance of preserving antiquities. Sayings of St. Philaret on the problem of preservation of the relics have not lost their relevance in our days. But in his time the society came to the understanding that antiquity, which is part of the spiritual experience of the Church begins to disappear. And if the legislation which emerged during the reign of Emperor Nicholas I, was perfected in the reign of the Emperor-Martyr Nicholas II, would continue to operate, until we reached a much more authentic relics, not mutilated for the sake of people’s tastes. Speakers also gave examples of bitter mistakes made by his contemporaries in the modern history of the Church, to carry out restoration work without approval from experts. Many of these errors were irreversible and caused the destruction of the shrines. A. Batalov urged the governors and abbess of stavropegic convents to seek help in the preservation of cultural heritage organisations – both secular and ecclesiastical.

After the presentations, the experts answered questions from participants.

Summing up the meeting, Chairman of the Synodal Department for monasteries and monkhood Archbishop Feognost drew attention to the fact that the issues of restoration and conservation of cultural heritage are currently being addressed by the monasteries together with the relevant state agencies. The Ministry of culture employs highly qualified professionals, many of whom were “churched” people, who, like the monks feel responsibility for the preservation of ancient shrines. To transmit the cultural heritage to the next generations, the monks must take the expert help of specialists.

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