Works to restore icon over gates of the Kremlin Nikolskaya Tower Launched

Moscow, July 5, Interfax – Works to reinstall the icon over the gates of the Moscow Kremlin Nikolskaya Tower will start this Monday.

“The first stage of works consists in removing a layer of plaster covering a metallic grid and bars. They are approximately in ten centimeter distance from the icon,” St. Andrew the First-Called Foundation press service told Interfax-Religion on Monday.

The works will take several days, then experts will have to evaluate state of the icon and decide on methods and terms of restoration.

Last Tuesday reinstallation works on the walled-in icon over the gates of the Spasskaya Tower started. In a week time, restorers managed to remove a layer of plaster from the image and dismantled metallic grid and bars.

St. Andrew the First-Called Foundation had initiated the reinstallation of icons over the gates of the Moscow Kremlin towers as far back as in 2007. The project received the government support and the blessing of Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia.

In April 2010, experts of the Interregional Scientific and Restoration Office made probes of the icon-cases of the Spasskaya and Nikolskaya Towers. The research has confirmed the hypothesis that the icons were preserved under the layer of plaster.

Ancient icons were discovered on the Spasskaya and Nikolskaya Towers of the Kremlin. They were walled in during Soviet times and have been deemed lost for a long time now.

According to the existing historical materials, the Spasskaya Tower houses the icon of the Savior depicted with St. Sergius and St. Varlaam falling down at His feet. The icon was painted to commemorate the rescue from the siege of Moscow by the army of Magmet Girey in 1521. The mural on the Nikolskaya Tower dates back to the late 15th – early 16th centuries. During the civil fights in October 1917, the icon of St. Nikolas of Mozhaysk was riddled with shots, but his face escaped unharmed which the Moscow believers considered a miracle.