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President Medvedev attends the blessing ceremony unveiling the icon above the gates of the Kremlin’s Spasskaya Tower

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (L) and Orthodox Patriarch Kirill walk to attend a blessing ceremony of the gate icon at the Spasskaya tower of Moscow’s Kremlin on August 28, 2010. (Photo: the Presidential Press and Information Office)

August 28, 2010

(KATAKAMI / KREMLIN.RU) — Dmitry Medvedev took part in the ceremony unveiling the icon on the Moscow Kremlin’s Spasskaya Tower.

The unveiling of the icon above the Spasskaya Tower’s gate is timed to coincide with the celebration of the Assumption of the Virgin. Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia conducted a prayer service for the consecration of the icon.

The Fund of St Andrew the Apostle took the initiative to restore the Kremlin gate icons. This initiative benefited from the support of the President and the blessing of the Patriarch.

After studies were conducted in the niches of the Spasskaya and Nikolskaya towers, the icons were found hidden under a layer of plaster in April 2010.

The icon on the Spasskaya Tower depicts Jesus Christ and two saints, St Sergius of Radonezh and St Varlaam of Khutyn, below him. The exact date the fresco was painted is not known, but it was not before the middle or second half of the 17th century. The icon gave the tower its name, which before that time was known as Frolovskaya Tower.

The last mention of the icon is from the 1930s, when a decision to cover the icon with plaster was taken. An icon of St Nicholas (on Nikolskaya Tower) was also immured at the same time.

The icon of St Nicholas dates from the late 15th or early 16th century. The image over the gate was damaged during fighting in October 1917. Restoration work on Nikolskaya Tower will last a few months longer.



Ceremony consecrating the icon above the gate of the Kremlin’s Spasskaya Tower (Photo: the Presidential Press and Information Office)

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (R) and Orthodox Patriarch Kirill (L) attend a blessing ceremony of the gate icon at the Spasskaya tower of Moscow’s Kremlin on August 28, 2010.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Orthodox Patriarch Kirill attend a blessing ceremony of the gate icon at the Spasskaya tower of Moscow’s Kremlin on August 28, 2010.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev attends the blessing ceremony of an ancient Orthodox icon on Kremlin’s Spassky Gate in Moscow, Saturday, Aug. 28, 2010. The icon was discovered in April in the Kremlin’s Spassky Tower after spending years hidden inside the tower. (Getty Images)

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