On 25-26 January 2024, the Cross Chamber of the Patriarch’s Palace hosted the 26th session of the section “Ecclesiastical Antiquities” of the 32nd International Educational Readings.  The theme of this year is “The Orthodox and National Culture: Losses and Acquirements of the Past, Image of the Future”.

Deputy Director for the Scientific Work of the Moscow Kremlin Museums A. L. Batalov, Vicar of Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Abbot of the Solovetsky Monastery of the Resurrection of Saviour, Director of the State Historical Architectural and Natural Museum-Site of the Solovky, and honorary chairman of the session Porphury Ozersky and V. P. Grebenyuk, DLitt, Head of the Humanities Department of the Russian Foundation of Fundamental Research addressed the audience with a welcoming speech. 

Losses and acquirements are part of the history of each state and each city in the Middle Ages. Losses can be natural – due to the invasions and fires. The evidence of the art pieces that had been lost was preserved either in charters of grand princes and tsars or in other acts. There are also artificial losses – those, programmed by the struggle of the present against the undesirable or ideologically extraneous past,” said A. L. Batalov regarding the theme of the conference. 

“Our section is dealing with the research of the art pieces.  Philosophers say that there are three levels of existence: object, subject and existence of the works of culture. The last one is related to the authorship. Of course, it is hardly possible to reveal the masterpiece without understanding the author’s intention, his inner world, which is reflected in the item. Only in case we manage to get into this world, the art piece will uncover itself to us,” Archbishop noted.

V. P. Grebenyuk underlines that a lot of churches were built from the moment of return, and Russian scientists started active studies of the church culture and spiritual heritage, leaving Europe far behind.  

Members of the staff of the Moscow Kremlin Museums, State Tretyakov Gallery, State Research Institute for Restoration, Central Andrey Rublev Museum of Ancient Russian Culture and Art, representatives of the Church-scientific Centre “The Orthodox Encyclopedia”, and Sretensky Ecclesiastical Academy spoke at the conference.

The conference finished with a guided tour around the Armoury Chamber and the architectural ensemble of the Moscow Kremlin for the participants of the conference.