St. Sophia Cathedral May Be Transferred to Kyiv Cave Monastery Preserve
The main component of the Sophia of Kyiv Preserve – the St. Sophia Cathedral – may be transferred to the Kyiv Cave Monastery Preserve, which would place it under the complete ownership of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate, reported Hazeta Po-Kyivsky on December 24, informs UNIAN.
According to the article, at a meeting of the Humanitarian Council (an advisory body to the president), deputy head of the presidential administration Hanna Herman proposed to add St. Sophia Cathedral to the Kyiv Cave Monastery National Preserve.
The Ministry for Regional Development and Building (MRDB) manages the Sophia of Kyiv Preserve. The preserve is not used for religious purposes, but for scientific and restoration work.
On the other hand, a considerable part of the Kyiv Cave Monastery Preserve – the "lower" area – is run by the UOC-MP. The Ministry of Culture is responsible for the structures located at the top of the reserve. Recently the monastery has been the subject of several scandals, including the destruction of the ancient gate and construction without appropriate permits, writes the newspaper.
The publication presents two reasons for the proposed unification. According to one of them, it would allow the funds allocated to the two monuments to be controlled by one party and as such be used more effectively.
The article also repots that museums are being evicted from the monastery, as the Cabinet of Ministers ordered in October.
And in July, before Moscow Patriarch Kirill’s visit to Ukraine, head of Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate Metropolitan Volodymyr wrote letters to top Ukrainian officials for permission to hold daily services at Sophia.
The head of the St. Sophia Preserve, Nelia Kukovalska, believes that uniting the reserves under the Ministry of Culture would destroy all of the museum’s work. “We know well the level of development of institutions controlled by this ministry. Museum work is very important, and one must not forget that the monuments are in an aggressive urban environment. Their preservation should be the main concern. The MRDB provides professional architects, builders, restorers to protect the monuments.”
St. Sophia, founded at the beginning of 11th century, is one of few buildings in the world of this period that still remain.
According to the article, the cathedral has the largest expanse of frescos and mosaics from the Kyivan Rus period. Furthermore, they are practically undamaged. Every one of them is under the protection of the state and included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
Kukovalska told RISU that currently she has no specific information about the unification. RISU will investigate developments surrounding this initiative.