12 April 2007, 12:35
Orthodox priest proposes renaming Voikovskaya metro station on the eve of 90th anniversary of murder of Russian Imperial Family
Moscow, April 12, Interfax - The famous Orthodox clergyman and spiritual leader of the Movement for the Faith and the Fatherland Hieromonk Nikon Belavenets proposed renaming Voikovskaya metro station.
‘In June 2008 there will be 90 years after the last Russian Emperor Nicholas II’s family was murdered. How can we explain our children why a Moscow Metro station bears the name of a regicide committer?’ Fr. Nikon said in Moscow Wednesday evening as he was taking part in a meeting of the Return public project aimed at returning to Russian towns and streets their historic names.
The priest said: ‘To honor the murdered emperor and to continue immortalizing his murderer’s name is intolerable hypocrisy. It’s like going to a Cathedral of Christ the Savior by the Judas Iscariot Street.’
To correct this and other similar situations, Fr. Nikon suggested drafting a law for depolitization of city toponymy, first in Moscow and afterwards on the federal level.
As in was noted during the meeting, before the Bolshevik revolution it was not customary to name cities and streets after politicians, even emperors, while memorials of great Russians as Pushkin, Lermontov, Pirogov and others were erected decades later after their deaths.
Speaking of importance of returning to streets and cities their original names, the deputy director of the Institute of Russian History of the Russian Academy of Sciences Vladimir Lavrov said: ‘Now we can see unprecedented degradation of the Russian nation in many respects caused by the Russians being historically disoriented.’
To overcome this trend, the project participants including many representatives of NGOs, academia, MPs, and the Church, drafted a list of over 20 Moscow streets and squares, which historic names they propose to get back.
The list includes Bolshaya Communisticheskaya (Big Communist) St., formerly Bolshaya Alekseyevskaya, after St. Alexis of Moscow, Krasnobogatyrskaya (Red Heroes) St., formerly Bolshaya Bogorodskaya, after the Blessed Virgin Mary, Leninskaya (Lenin) Place, formerly Simonova Place, after St. Simon Monastery where Kulikovo battle heroes Peresvet and Oslyabya are buried, Leningradsky (Leningrad) Av., formerly St. Petersburg Av., Leninsky (Lenin) Av., formerly Bolshay Kaluzhskaya, after the Russian city of Kaluga, Radio St., formerly Voznesenskaya, after a church of the Ascension of the Lord, Serafimovich St., formerly Vsekhsvyatskaya, after an All Saints church, Entuziastov (Enthusiasts) Highway, formerly Vladimirskoye Highway, after the Russian city of Vladimir, 1905 Goda (Year 1905, the year of first attempted revolution in Russia) St., formerly Novoierusalimskaya, after the New Jerusalem Monastery near Moscow, and others.
The list is to be handed over to the authorities. According to the project participants, if undertaken properly, the street renaming will not cause crowds in passport offices as the renamed streets may have double names for some time.
Also, the Return project members suggested renaming Moscow’s Leningradsky Railroad Terminal and Oktyabrskaya railway after St. Nicholas. They also proposed constructing St. Nicholas’ chapels in Moscow and St. Petersburg railroad terminals since this saint is believed to be a patron of travelers.