Moscow, May 31, 2023
President Vladimir Putin ordered the return of St. Andrei Rublev’s Holy Trinity Icon to the ownership of the Russian Orthodox Church earlier this month.
The 15th-century icon initially found its home on the iconostasis of the Holy Trinity Cathedral at the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra, founded by St. Sergius of Radonezh in the 14th century. However, when the godless authorities came to power in Russia, they removed the icon from the monastery. In 1929, after nine years in a museum in Zagorsk (Sergiev Posad), it was transferred to the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, where it has remained ever since, except for a few days last July when the icon was taken to the Lavra for the 600th anniversary of the uncovering of the relics of St. Sergius.
The Trinity Icon will be delivered to Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral on the feast of Pentecost, Sunday, June 4, and will remain there for two weeks, reports Kommersant.
After that, it will be sent for restoration. Art analysts say the ancient icon suffered serious damage when it left the controlled environment of the Tretyakov Gallery last summer.
Thus, voices from both the ecclesiastical and the art worlds have warned of the danger of returning the icon to the Church, but the Ministry of Culture says it’s currently developing measures to ensure the icon’s safety.