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24 Aug 2016

Svetlov: Every piece of information on whereabouts of St. Euphrosyne Cross thoroughly checked

Svetlov: Every piece of information on whereabouts of St. Euphrosyne Cross thoroughly checked

MINSK, 24 August (BelTA) –Every piece of information on the whereabouts of the Cross of St. Euphrosyne is thoroughly checked and verified, Belarus’ Culture Minister Boris Svetlov said when answering the questions of the participants of the seminar on the country's cultural space hosted by Belarusbank on 24 August, BelTA has learned.

Boris Svetlov noted that there are different versions as to the whereabouts of the precious piece of art of the 12th century. “Once there is new information about where the Cross can be, we immediately check and verify it. But so far none of the versions has been confirmed,” he said. According to the minister, the latest version, which came up about six months ago, involved the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergious where the cross was allegedly seen. But the version was not confirmed.

The minister said that the restoration works are underway in the Holy Transfiguration Church of Our Savior in Polotsk, which is associated with the name and activities of St. Euphrosyne. Restorers are working to uncover and preserve the unique frescos. According to Boris Svetlov, after some research at the Holy Transfiguration Church, which has no analogues in Eastern Europe, scientists may come to some unique findings.

The Cross of St. Euphrosyne of Polotsk was made by goldsmith Lazarus Bogsha in 1161. The cross served as the Arc for keeping great Christian shrines: particle of the Cross Tree with a drop of blood of the Savior, the particles of stones of the Holy Sepulchre and the Tomb of the Virgin Mary, relics of Protomartyr Archdeacon Stefan, St. Pantaleon and a drop of blood of Martyr Demetrius of Thessaloniki.

The Cross was lost in the 1940s. It was never found after the war. There are many different versions as to how the Cross was lost and where it is now. There are replicas of the Cross, which complicates the search for the authentic Cross of St. Euphrosyne of Polotsk. Some believe that the relic is kept in a private collection outside Belarus.

Now the Holy Transfiguration Church of Our Savior of St. Euphrosyne Convent has a replica of the Cross of Saint Euphrosyne, which was donated to it in 1997. It was made by master Nikolai Kuzmich from Brest.

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