Orthodox Patriarch Kirill says he only asked to borrow Rublev’s ‘Trinity’ from Tretyakov Gallery, but Putin gave it back to church outright
Patriarch Kirill, the head of Russian Orthodox Church, says he didn’t ask President Vladimir Putin to give Andrey Rublev’s “Holy Trinity” ikon back to the church.
Rublev’s 15th-century masterpiece was part of the Tretyakov Gallery collection. The president’s decision to return it to the church sparked criticism among the art conservators who believe it endangers the fragile ikon.
On May 16, the patriarch told a group of top clergymen that he had only reached out to the Presidential Administration with a “modest request” to have the ikon loaned to the Moscow-based Christ the Savior Cathedral for two weeks, in honor of the Orthodox Trinity holiday celebrated by the believers on June 4 this year.
said the patriarch.
On May 10, the St. Petersburg-based State Hermitage Museum was also compelled, by Putin’s order, to return the silver tomb of Alexander Nevsky to the Russian Orthodox Church. Art conservators criticized the transfer as potentially destructive to the art object.