The exhibition “Greek Moscow: from Theophanes the Greek to the present day”, which has opened at the Museum of Contemporary History of Russia, is part of the celebration of the Year of the History of Greece-Russia.
It takes place as part of the ongoing celebration of the Year of Greco-Russian History and covers eight centuries of our era. Exhibition dedicated to the 200th anniversary of the beginning of the 1821 revolution.
The exposition presents the personalities of Russian and Soviet historians who were of Greek origin and distinguished themselves in various fields – politics, business, the church sphere, science, education, art. Special attention is paid to the symbolic figure of the leading Greek hagiographer, who founded a school in Russia, who hagiographed churches in the Kremlin and Novgorod. He taught his skills to the founders of Russian church art, in particular, Andrei Rublev.
Among the outstanding personalities are Zoya-Sophia Paleologina, who came from the Byzantine Mystra and became the princess of Moscow as the second wife of Prince Ivan III, as well as Saints Maxim the Greek and Archbishop Arseny Elasson.
Ekaterina Nasika, Ambassador of Greece to Moscow, speaking at exhibition opening with congratulations from its organizers, said:
“Greek-Russian relations have centuries-old depth, they are based on spiritual and cultural ties, on our common Orthodox faith. The figures of the brothers Zosima, Khatsikonst, Matteos Rizaris or Zoya Kaplanis, the Buba family and many others – their graves in the monastery of the Donskoy Mother of God remain a timeless monument of their presence in Moscow. “
The exhibition presents outstanding personalities – from the first metropolitans and missionaries, such as brothers Ioannikios and Sofronios Leikhudis, who taught in Russia and founded its first university, the Slavic-Latin Academy, to the Soviet ruler of the ethers, the first tractor driver Eterika Pasha Angelina, a collector of works of the Soviet avant-garde Georgios Costakis, conductor of the Balsoy Odysseus Dimitriadis Theater, archaeologist Viktoras Sarigiannidis, prominent Greek writers in Russia.
The event was organized at the initiative of the Greek Association of Moscow and its President Christos Takhtsidis, a renowned ophthalmologist, with the support of the Ministry of Culture of Russia, the Greek Embassy in Moscow, the municipality and the Moscow Patriarchate. Sponsors from dozens of countries have donated valuable works of art and rare exhibits.
Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Department for External Church Relations, conveyed greetings from Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia to the filellens and the Greek community.
Alexey Gordegev, vice-chairman of the State Duma, congratulated the organizers of the historical exhibition and declared himself an enthusiastic filellen. He expressed his joy that “today the Greeks of Russia are an integral part of the country’s intellectual elite.”
Businessman Ivan Savvidis, President of the Federation of Greek Communities of Russia, sent a written greeting. He recalled the Greeks who had shown themselves in modern Russia – the famous doctors Christos Takhtsidis and Ivan Stylidis, the expatriate cosmonaut Theodoros Yurtsichin-Grammaticopoulos.
The exhibition “Greek Moscow” will be open for a month. Its organizers are already generating ideas for continuing the event in other forms and for a deeper study of the history of the Greek community in Russia.