|Russia to Celebrate 450th Anniversary of St. Basil's Cathedral After $14 Million Restoration|
St. Basil's Cathedral outside the Kremlin on the Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Friday, July 8, 2011. Russia will celebrate the 450th anniversary of St. Basil's Cathedral by opening an exhibition dedicated to the holy fool who gave his name to Moscow's onion-domed landmark. St. Basil, an eccentric religious fanatic, was one of the very few Muscovites who dared criticize tyrannical Czar Ivan the Terrible. The czar built the cathedral in 1561 to commemorate his victory over Mongol rulers who once dominated Russia, but over the centuries it became known as the place where St. Basil is buried. AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko.
By: Mansur Mirovalev, Associated Press
MOSCOW (AP).- Russia will celebrate the 450th anniversary of St. Basil's Cathedral by opening an exhibition dedicated to the so-called "holy fool" who gave his name to the soaring structure of bright-hued onion domes that is a quintessential image of Russia.
The eccentrically devout St. Basil wore no clothes even during the harsh Russian winters and was one of the very few Muscovites who dared to lambast tyrannical Czar Ivan the Terrible.
Ivan, whose gory purges claimed tens of thousands of lives, feared St. Basil as "a seer of people's hearts and minds," according to one chronicle. He personally carried St. Basil's coffin to a grave right outside the Kremlin. The cathedral, constructed to commemorate Ivan's victory over Mongol rulers, was built on the burial site.
Deputy Culture Minister Andrey Busygin said Friday that the exhibition is opening Tuesday as part of anniversary celebrations in the cathedral after a decade-long restoration that cost 390 million rubles ($14 million). The exhibition will display relics and icons of St. Basil and other religious eccentrics, who were known as "holy fools."
The exhibition will be part of massive celebrations of St. Basil's anniversary that will also include a service to be held by Russia Orthodox Patriarch Kirill and a late-night church bell concert.
"This cathedral is a shrine and a symbol of Russia," Busygin added. "It's a miracle it survived at all."
The building was severely shelled during the 1917 Bolshevik takeover of the Kremlin and was patched up during the subsequent civil war and famine. "Those gaping wounds were stuffed with whatever was at hand," said Andrey Batalov, deputy director of the State Kremlin Museums.
Early Communist leaders who persecuted countless clerics of all faiths and destroyed tens of thousands of religious buildings wanted St. Basil's dynamited as it blocked the way to military parades, and only the cathedral's conversion into a museum saved it.
A century earlier, Napoleon Bonaparte also ordered St. Basil's blown up during his army's hasty retreat from Moscow in 1812, but a heavy rain put down the burning fuses.
Originally named the Holy Trinity Cathedral, over the centuries it became known as the place where St. Basil is buried.
The design of its nine onion-shaped, multicolored domes combine the traditions of Russian wooden architecture with Byzantine and Islamic influences into a unique structure.
Batalov said the restoration focused on recreating the way the building looked by the late 17th century, when the nine domes were united by a wraparound floor.
By that time, St. Basil's became a symbolic New Jerusalem and the center of Palm Sunday walks, when the Moscow Patriarch approached it sitting on a donkey to recreate Jesus' arrival in Jerusalem.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.
July 10, 2011
Exhibition of Work by Artist Louise Bourgeois on View for the First Time in Latin America
Indianapolis Museum of Art Presents Dynasty and Divinity: Ife Art in Ancient Nigeria
Alte Pinakothek's Celebrates Their 175th Anniversary with the Exhibition "Concealed/Revealed"
Russia to Celebrate 450th Anniversary of St. Basil's Cathedral After $14 Million Restoration
Indian Supreme Court Orders Security for Hindu Temple Treasure Worth Billions
The Largest Collection of Fabergé in the United States is On View at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles Presents George Herms: Xenophilia
University of Texas, Ryan O'Neal Spar Over Farrah Fawcett Portrait by Andy Warhol
Team Unearths First Roman-Era Basilica Erected in the Mediterranean Port City of Alexandria
American Modern: Abbott, Evans, Bourke-White on View at the Colby College Museum of Art
Norton Simon Museum Presents Vermeer's "Woman with a Lute," on Loan from the Metropolitan
Bruce Nauman's "For Beginners" Enters Los Angeles County Museum of Art's Collection
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Spotlights Ceramics in Recent Art Practice
Transmutations and Metamorphosis, The Collages of Ann Irwin at the Michener Art Museum
The Morris Museum of Art Presents Civil War Redux: Pinhole Photographs by Willie Anne Wright
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago Debuts Four Enormous Works by Mark Handforth
Hearst Art Gallery Opens a Retrospective of the Late Plein Air Painter and Teacher Pam Glover: "A Life in Art"
Judge to Decide Ownership of 'Jackie Letter'
Lawmakers Seek New Immigration Museum in District of Columbia
Greg Martin Auctions and Heritage Auctions Join Forces
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- Archaeologists find 5,000-year-old skeletons in an ancient village in northern India
2.- Exhibition at the Louvre museum offers rare glimpse of the ancient Thracian culture
3.- Most Britons ignorant over Battle of Waterloo: National Army Museum poll
4.- Sotheby's to offer the historic collection of Mary, Duchess of Roxburghe
5.- Van Gogh and Rothko: Two masterpieces of modern art unveiled at Sotheby's London
6.- Recently discovered self-portrait headlines 'Leonardo da Vinci and the Idea of Beauty' at MFA Boston
7.- Supermodel Gisele Bundchen, world's top-earning model, makes teary last catwalk turn
8.- Le Corbusier legacy threatened by revelations in new books that architect was 'fascist'
9.- Groundbreaking photographs of India's Sidi community go on show in the UK for the first time
10.- William and Kate: royal parents with a modern image
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|