MOSCOW, September 7. /TASS/. For the first time ever, Moscow City’s Tretyakov Art Gallery put up for display the works of applied arts and nine icons from its depositary of precious metals and jewels that is closed for the general public, Zelfira Tregulova, the director of the world-famous museum of Russian art told a news conference on Thursday.
"We have put up for public display the items from the Tretyakov Gallery’s collection of precious metals as part of the exhibition ‘The Shrines of Moscow of the Past’," she said. "These are the devotional articles that turned up in the collections of the Tretyakov Gallery during the mass destruction of Moscow’s churches in the 1920’s and 1930’s and thus survived through to our days."
"The visitors will see the shrines from the churches that don’t exist anymore in this city," Tregulova said.
The items traditionally kept in the altars make up the main part of the display. The visitors will also see nine icons in gilded silver mountings. The highlights of the display are the icons of the Virgin Mary of Kazan, the Smolensk Image of the Savior, and St Nicholas.
‘The Shrines of Moscow of the Past’ is one of the 130 exhibitions organized this year for the traditional City Day that is marked annually on the second Saturday of September.
The policy of state-sponsored atheism and the sweeping anti-religious campaign unleashed by the Bolshevik authorities in the early 1920’s resulted in amassed closures and destruction of churches, as well as the confiscation of treasures accumulated by parishes.
While the huge numbers of icons and objects from previous metals were sold through shops for foreigners or at auctions, some were channeled to museum collections where they underwent restoration and enjoyed a proper upkeep.
The Tretyakov Gallery will welcome arts connoisseurs at the exhibition from September 8, 2017, through January 21, 2018.