Mr Putin thanked Mr Shaimiyev for his collaboration over past years and for his active efforts to study and preserve the Russian and Tatar cultural and historical heritage. The President presented Mr Shaimiyev with a map of ancient Tartary made by 17th century Dutch cartographer Willem Blaeu.
“I would like to thank you for working together over these past years and for all you have been doing recently, including to study our common culture and history”, Mr Putin said. “This is very important work, perhaps one of the most important tasks we have before us”.
Mr Shaimiyev spoke of the work of the foundation he heads to rebuild the Cathedral of the Kazan Icon of Our Lady in Tatarstan’s capital, and to build the Bulgar Islamic Academy.
A ceremony to lay the cornerstone and place a capsule in the foundation of the renovated cathedral took place in 2016, attended by Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill. The project will see the reconstruction of the original cathedral, destroyed in 1932, which will become the base for rebuilding the Kazan Virgin Monastery.
The Bulgar Islamic Academy (located in the town of Bolgar) will be completed in the spring of 2017 and aims to continue the traditions of Tatarstan’s theological heritage and become one of the country’s leading religious, educational and spiritual centres.