Dmitry Medvedev chaired a meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Charity Fund for the Restoration of the New Jerusalem Resurrection Monastery.
The meeting discussed, in particular, the progress of restoration works at the monastery and the restoration concept in general.
Mr Medvedev said that strict control must be kept over the money, including private donations, spent on restoring the monastery to its original appearance.
The President thanked everyone who has contributed to the restoration work.
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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Your Holiness, colleagues, today this board of trustees is meeting for the third time. We will review the results of the work accomplished so far this year, and last year’s results too of course. We will discuss the monastery’s restoration concept, which I hope will define our work over the coming year.
I have been told that the concept has gone through all of the necessary approval procedures now and sets out the principles for restoring the monastery as a religious centre and cultural monument. Of course, the creative component will not end here, but the most important thing is to keep in mind just what a completely unique monument it is. It is a part not only of Russia’s historical and cultural heritage, but of the whole world, one of the most revered treasures of the Orthodox world and Orthodox culture. We must do all we can to preserve it and restore it to its full potential.
“The New Jerusalem Monastery is a completely unique monument. It is a part not only of Russia’s historical and cultural heritage, but of the whole world, one of the most revered treasures of the Orthodox world and Orthodox culture.”
We all know that this monastery’s fate has been a difficult one. The best specialists with the latest technology, in architecture and engineering, have been called in to restore the monastery to original state. Of course, we need to take a very careful approach to this restoration work.
I know that there has been much debate between restoration specialists over the restoration concept. This is normal. Of course, the important thing here is to take a balanced and thought-out approach based on history and technological advances. We must ensure at the same time that we preserve the site’s particular construction and landscape features.
The monastery is a protected site of federal importance, and we thus need to draw up the relevant documents setting out this protected zone’s guarantees and provisions. I think the expert council and the Ministry of Culture should do everything necessary here, and these decisions should obviously be thoroughly discussed and coordinated with the Russian Orthodox Church.
The organisational matters have already been taken care of, and a large amount of preparation and emergency prevention work has already been done, because the monastery was in a very run-down state. In approving the restoration concept we will be setting clear guidelines for the specialists, who will prepare the final version of the project documents and estimates.
One issue related to the monastery’s restoration is the need to build a new building for the museum to move into. Mr Gromov [Boris Gromov, governor of Moscow Region] is working on this and I hope will inform us about the situation. Our task is to put in place all of the conditions for the monastery to live its full life, now, while the restoration work is in full swing, and in the future.
”I want to take this opportunity today to thank everyone who has donated money, everyone who wants to restore the New Jerusalem Monastery and has decided to help in this work.“
I am sure that the support the state authorities, the church, and all interested people are giving this project, along with the fund’s effective work, will create the conditions to ensure that we find timely solutions to any problems that come up.
Fundraising work is underway at the moment, and a considerable amount of money has already been donated. Of course, the fund’s managers must ensure strict control over these funds’ spending, because this includes donations from our citizens, and they have the right to know how this money has been spent. In any case, I want to take this opportunity today to thank everyone who has donated money, everyone who wants to restore the New Jerusalem Monastery and has decided to help in this work.
I think that the experience we will gain in carrying out this restoration of one of our country’s biggest sites of religious significance will be put to use in other cases in which the state authorities and the church work together on restoring monuments of Orthodox history and culture.