7,000 Churches in Ruins, in Need of Restoration, Says Russian Church

Originally appeared at: Orthodox Christianity

In Russia today, there are about 7,000 Orthodox churches and other objects of spiritual culture in need of reconstruction from complete ruins, a Russian Church representative announced recently.

“The Patriarchal Cultural Council has now identified 7,000 monuments of architecture, and in general of history and spiritual culture, which simply must be saved in some way,” Archpriest Leonid Kalinin, Chairman of the Expert Council on Church Art, Architecture, and Restoration, told RIA-Novosti.

To repair and rebuild the churches, they must first be captured in the state they are in now, Fr. Leonid added. For this purpose, it is planned to use laser and photogrammetric scanning to determine the shape, size, and other characteristics of the objects based on photo images.

Such scanning has already begun in several parts of the country, Fr. Leonid noted.

The problem of dilapidated and ruined churches was discussed during the recent International Educational Readings in Moscow. Fr. Leonid pointed out while there are many programs dedicated to restoring old churches, there is a dangerous trend of replacing ancient icons and interiors with low-quality modern work.

In September, Fr. Leonid served a moleben on the occasion of the launch of the new laser-scanning project, following from the decision of the Supreme Russian Church Council on April 17, 2019.

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