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On 25-27 October in the Cross Chamber of the Patriarch’s Palace, there was held a jubilee conference, devoted to the history of the Department ‘Museums-Cathedrals’ - one of the principal sectors of the Moscow Kremlin Museums, which had been keeping and restoring heritage sites of the Kremlin over the century.


The welcoming speeches were delivered by the Director General of the Moscow Kremlin Museums Elena Yu. Gagarina, Deputy Director for Scientific Work Andrey Batalov, Head of the Humanities Department at the Russian Foundation of Fundamental Research Vasily Grebenjuk, and Head of Muscovia’s Archaeology Department at the Institute of Archaeology of the Russian Academy of Science Leonid Belyaev. 


“We have gathered here to celebrate an important moment in the life of our museum – the birth of a conservators' department, which will be hundred years old in October 2022. After October Revolution in 1917, it became crucial to create such a structure that would be responsible for the preservation of ancient heritage sites of the Cathedral Square and Kremlin monuments. At the current moment, the department's staff continues working on conservation, restoration, and science – those directions, which were laid down by their predecessors,” noted Elena Yu. Gagarina.  


"That is a very exceptional case when the idea of a conference was born in the department. Thanks to the enthusiasm and activity of its members, together with its scientific part the conference was prepared with much love to the predecessors. Today we can say that the department's team is efficient, sole and active," Andrey Batalov underlined.  


The staff members of the Moscow Kremlin Museums, State Tretyakov Gallery, Central Museum of Old Russian Art named after Andrey Rublev, Association of Russian art historians and State Institute of Art History spoke at the conference.


During the conference, the participants had an opportunity to visit the exhibition “Department ‘Museums-Cathedrals’: hundred years of history, devotion, memory” in the Ceremonial Anteroom of the Patriarch’s Palace. The exposition presents archive documents, photographs and negatives from the collection of the Moscow Kremlin Museums and private collections. The items tell about the first period of the department’s history from 1922 till the early 1930-ies, when the main directions of work were established: preservation and restoration of Kremlin monasteries and cathedrals, formation of expositions and exhibitions in them, collection development.


On the first day of the conference, the participants also reviewed the early wall painting of the Assumption Cathedral and the cathedral complex of the Moscow Kremlin Museums. On 27 October, the conference rounded off with a concert of the Moscow State Academic Chamber Choir in the Cross Chamber of the Patriarch’s Palace.