The President noted that the pace of the reconstruction suggests that the monastery will be restored as planned, by the end of 2016.
According to Dmitry Medvedev, the work is unprecedented, because the place of the monastery in Russia's history and the history of orthodoxy is unique. The President stressed that this is why the Fund was set up to be co-chaired by the Patriarch and Russia’s President.
The monastery was founded in 1656 by Patriarch Nikon. According to his plan, the monastery was to become the centre of the Orthodox world. Some of the buildings in the monastery complex mimic the form of those in Jerusalem.
In 1919 the monastery was closed and declared a historical and artistic monument of national importance. The New Jerusalem Museum was established on the site.
In December 1941, the area was the scene of fierce fighting in the battle for Moscow. During three weeks of Nazi occupation the museum was plundered, its tower and bell tower destroyed, and the cathedral significantly damaged. Information about the devastation of New Jerusalem appeared in the Nuremberg trials.
Restoration of the monastery began in the 1950s. In 1994 the process of turning over the monastery buildings to the Russian Orthodox Church began.