2007-01-22 17:01:00

Signatures to support rebuilding of the Monastery of the Passion Icon of the Mother of God in the Pushkin Sq handed over to the Moscow city administration

Moscow, January 22, Interfax - Signatures of more that 8,200 Moscow citizens who favoured rebuilding of the Monastery of the Passion Icon of the Mother of God in the Pushkin Sq were handed over to Moscow’s city administration and the Moscow Patriarchate on Monday, the representative of the monastery rebuilding action committee Oleg Kassin told Interfax.

‘The rebuilding of the monastery on its original site had been actively supported by many intelligentsia and culture workers, including representatives of Moscow theaters, the Writers’ Union of Russia, residents of neighbouring buildings, and many other Moscow citizens,’ Kassin said.

The project of reconstruction of the monastery upon its original basis still identifiable under the asphalt surface, which was designed by the architect Aida Melikhova, confronts another project, which includes construction of a shopping mall and a parking under the Pushkin Sq, he noted.

‘The shopping mall project takes absolutely no account to the fact that the monastery’s basis has wholly survived. So it looks like they will be building the mall upon monastic graves,’ Kassin said.

The dedication of the monastery was after the miraculous icon of the Mother of God called ‘the Passion Icon’ as it represented the Virgin Mary and the Babe Jesus with two angels holding the Instruments of Christ’s Passion. The monastery was founded in 18th century upon the site, where the Passion Icon was met after being brought to Russia’s capital from Nizhny Novgorod. It was closed in 1919 and made Central Anti-Religious Museum in the early 1929.

Eight years later the monastery’s structures were demolished.