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ST. PETERSBURG, June 15 /TASS/. The iconic Aurora cruiser, which had been under repairs since September 2014, was handed back to the Russian Navy on Friday. It will start its movement towards Petrodgradskaya Embankment, the place of traditional anchorage, later today, a source at the press service e of the Kronstadt marine plant told TASS on Friday.
"All the renovation works are over… The Aurora has returned to the Russian Navy and is ready to be towed to its berth," the plant’s press service said.
The renovation works are estimated to cost around 840 million rubles (approximately 13.2 million U.S. dollars). The cruiser got a new renovated hull, a state-of-the art homemade fire-extinguishing system and 52 new video surveillance cameras, which practically exclude any unnoticed penetration on board the ship.
The Aurora, one of the most popular tourist attractions in St. Petersburg, came into service with the Russian Navy in 1903. It covered more than 100,000 miles and took part in three wars. In Soviet days, it was believed that an Aurora salvo had signaled the start of an armed uprising on October 25, 1917 (the Great October Socialist Revolution). The cruiser was badly damaged during the defense of Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) during the Great Patriotic War against fascist Germany in 1941-1945. The ship was repaired and moored at Petrogradzklaya Embankment in 1948.
Before 1956, the Aurora was a training base for the students of the Nakhimov Naval School located in St. Petersburg. The St. Andrew flag of the Russian Navy went up on the Aurora in 1992. It is ship number one in the Russian Navy.
A new historical exposition of the Naval Museum of St. Petersburg will open on the Aurora late in July when the cruiser will reopen to visitors. It will occupy nine rooms and will feature the cruiser’s participation in three wars - the 1904-1905 Russian-Japanese war; the First World War and WWII. A medical bloc, which was the first to use roentgen equipment in Russia, will be the display’s highlight.
The Aurora is to take part in the Russian Navy Day parade in St. Petersburg on July 31.