Ekaterinburg, Russia, September 22, 2017
Today marks the 40th anniversary of the razing of the Ipatiev House in Ekaterinburg, where Tsar Nicholas II and his family were martyred on July 17, 1918. Royal Russia reports that the anniversary was marked by the September 19 opening of the “Ipatiev House: From Destruction to Repentance” exhibition at the Tsar Spiritual and Enlightenment Center in Ekaterinburg.
Alexander Kapustin, the head of the Sverdlovsk Province Department of Archives announced at the exhibition a proposition to reconstruct the Ipatiev House, which had been destroyed on September 22, 1977, as a memorial to the holy Royal Martyrs, Royal Russia also reports.
The exhibition, which runs until November 19, features items retrieved from the Ipatiev House before its destruction, archival materials, and photographs from the early 20th century up to 1977 in 120 exhibits.
As Kapustin noted, the rebuilt Ipatiev House could be an exact copy of the original, as measurements of the building and its rooms were taken before the demolition, and several drawings and photographs of the façade and interiors of the building have been preserved in archives. The Sverdlovsk regional local history museum in Ekaterinburg has used such materials to develop a 3-D computer mock-up of the original Ipatiev House in minute detail.
The archivist proposed that the new Ipatiev House could house a museum dedicated to the Royal Martyrs’ final days, supplemented by rotating exhibits on important events in Russian national history.
Metropolitan Kirill of Ekaterinburg and Verkhoturye noted that the “destruction of the Ipatiev House became a symbol of the destruction of all Russian history.”
The Ipatiev House was finally ordered to be demolished in 1977, two years after the proposal had been made by KGB Chairman Yuri Andropov which came just one year after it was designated an Historical-Revolutionary Monument in 1974. The house was increasingly becoming a place of pilgrimage, especially on the night of July 16/17, with faithful Orthodox Christians coming to light candles and say a prayer. Moreover, the house was drawing attention from the foreign press. The task of destruction fell to Boris Yeltsin, at that time the first secretary of the Sverdlovsk Regional Committee of the Communist Party, who later wrote, “Sooner or later we will be ashamed of this piece of barbarism.” The demolition lasted for two days.
It is unclear where the proposed project would be rebuilt, as the Church on the Blood was built on the site of the former Ipatiev House and consecrated in June 2003. 60,000 faithful gathered at the church this year on the night of July 16-17 to prayerfully commemorate and process in honor of the holy Royal Martyrs.