Culture Minister: Several valuable icons disappear from Kiev-Pechersk Lavra

Yevheny Nishchuk

The inventory at the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra has revealed the loss of a number of icons, even earlier than 2003, as assumed.

Criminal proceedings were initiated after the inventory reconciliation, the Ukrainian Culture Minister Yevheny Nishchuk said on "Priamyi" TV channel.

"The full inventory has been conducted partly. They now started sending us full lists. Certain icons have been lost at Kiev-Pechersk Lavra. On the other hand, it's unnecessary to say that something has just been withdrawn from there. Those could be losses for previous periods, even earlier than 2003," the minister said.

"Now on the basis of this reconciliation, criminal proceedings are initiated. All documents are being forwarded to law enforcement agencies. And then together we will come to the press conference so that both the mass media and people will be fully informed about the losses that were in our Lavras and in our churches,” concluded Nishchuk. 

The minister says a separate press briefing on the missing icons will be given after all the documents have been processed.

As the UOJ reported, in September 2018, the Ministry of Culture began to create commissions for the inventory of church property of the UOC. According to documents published by the Ukrainian media, Yevheny Nishchuk personally ordered a full inventory of the property of the monasteries and temples of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church for one day. At the same time, the Ministry of Culture itself stated that they had nothing to do with the creation of commissions.

On November 28, representatives of the Kiev-Pechersk Nature Reserve (managed by the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine) carried out an inventory of property in the Near Caves of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra.

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