In 2010, a unique milestone event took place when the Spasskaya and Nikolskaya Towers of the Moscow Kremlin had their icons returned. Since 2013, Endowment Fund “ISTOKI” has been providing financial support to the Foundation of Saint Andrew the First-Called to carry out restoration work on the entire group of gate icons in the Kremlin.
A brief background history
The Spassky gates (the gates of the Savior) used to be the main gates of the Moscow Kremlin. There was an image of the Savior there and an oil lamp was lit. There were also other gate icons on other Kremlin towers. Back in December 1917, when the Moscow Kremlin was under fire with the Bolsheviks taking power in Moscow, the icons were damaged and were subsequently considered lost. In 2007, the Foundation of Saint Andrew the First-Called came up with the initiative to restore the gate icons on the towers of the Moscow Kremlin. President of Russia Vladimir Putin approved the idea while this proposal got the blessing from His Holiness Patriarch Alexis II of Moscow and All Russia. Since that moment, the Foundation started preliminary work to see if there was any possibility for restoration of the icon. In February 2010, the Foundation of Saint Andrew the First-Called obtained all the necessary permits to carry out the research work in regards to the case of the icons. Three months later, upon the blessing of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, the works started. Despite receiving permission from President, the Foundation’s employees had to deal with serious bureaucratic obstacles to get the opportunity to work in the heart of Moscow, in the Kremlin. The research work carried out in 2010 confirmed that the icon images were preserved under layers of plaster. Thus, the Foundation of Saint Andrew the First-Called revealed the sensational historical news.
Then, restoration works started. The icon on the Spasskaya Tower was the first to be restored, followed by the icon of Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker on the Nikolskaya Tower of the Moscow Kremlin.
Since then, restoration works for the entire group of Kremlin gate icons has continued non-stop. In 2019, employees of the Foundation of Saint Andrew the First-Called, jointly with the Inter-Regional Scientific and Restoration Arts Department and with support from Borisfen, designed a draft project for recreation of the gate icons on the Spasskaya, Nikolskaya, Borovitskaya and Troitskaya Towers facing the Moscow Kremlin and three icons in the icon cases on the Kutafya Tower.