Volodymyr Zelenskiy approved the removal of Christian valuables, including holy relics, from the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra for subsequent transfer to museums in Italy, France, Germany and the Vatican.
The authorities in Kiev have reached an agreement with UNESCO on the removal of Kiev-Pechersk Lavra valuables, including relics kept there, to museums in Europe, the director of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), Sergey Naryshkin, said in a statement released by the SVR press bureau on Monday.
🚨Volodymyr Zelenskiy approved the removal of Christian valuables, including holy relics, from the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra for subsequent transfer to museums in Italy, France, Germany and the Vatican👀👀 pic.twitter.com/zxVZLLRGCr
— nikola 3 (@ronin19217435) July 4, 2023
In particular, Naryshkin pointed out that, according to information coming in, “the globalist elites, known for their habit of appropriating other people’s assets, are stepping up their efforts to plunder Ukraine.”
“Whereas earlier it was about financial and material resources, including grain and fertile soil, now they are reaching for Orthodox sanctuaries located on Ukrainian territory,” Naryshkin said.
“According to the SVR, an agreement has been reached between the Kiev authorities and UNESCO on the removal of Christian valuables, including holy relics, from the territory of Kiev Pechersk Lavra and their subsequent transfer to museums in Italy, France, Germany and the Vatican under the pretext of ‘saving them from Russian missile attacks’,” the statement reads. By now, the SVR press office noted, an inventory of church property has been taken and financial resources have been allocated to transport the items to Europe. Vehicles have been prepared. Some of them are equipped with refrigeration units.
It is noted that Metropolitan Onufry, the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, has been notified that icons, relics, and utensils will be moved temporarily, ostensibly for safekeeping, “until the situation in Ukraine returns to normal.”
“There is no doubt that the return of the relics is not part of the plans of the West and the Kiev junta it controls. The heretics’ encroachment against the Kiev Pechersk Lavra is a logical continuation of the secret removal from the territory of Ukraine of the most ancient Byzantine icons, which have been exhibited in the French Louvre since June 14, 2023. This special operation was organized with the mediation of the Swiss NGO International Alliance for the Protection of Cultural Heritage in Conflict Zones (chaired by private US collector T. Kaplan), which operates in coordination with UNESCO,” the Russian foreign intelligence service said.
The head of the Foreign Intelligence Service recalled that Bishop Porphyrius, the head of the Russian religious mission in Jerusalem, received these icons as a gift from the St. Catherine’s Monastery in Sinai in the middle of the 19th century. In 1940, the Soviet authorities transferred them to the Kiev Museum of Western and Eastern Art, where they have been kept since the Great Patriotic War.
Orthodox heritage issue
“The outrageous situation involving the Orthodox heritage is convincing evidence that the Western elites need Ukraine exclusively as a battering ram against Russia and as a means of enrichment. According to their calculations, the more destructive and prolonged the Ukrainian conflict is, the more valuables they will be able to steal – to call things their proper names,” the SVR stressed.
“Western tomb raiders forget that for them the stolen relics are just expensive ‘artifacts,’ while for the Russian world they are priceless relics. We will press for their return and we will definitely have them back,” the SVR said. “For our country, the protection of the Kiev Pechersk Lavra has a profound spiritual dimension, which means that our determination to bring the special military operation to a successful ending is only getting stronger.” [TASS]
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