Elena SHATKOVSKAYA: “Finally, THIS happened!” Full restoration of the 18th century Porzhensky churchyard complex completed

Elena SHATKOVSKAYA: “Finally, THIS happened!” Full restoration of the 18th century Porzhensky churchyard complex completed

Shortly before everything was suggesting not an easy trip to the central part of the Park. It rained endlessly, a gusty wind howled at night - is that a sign? Porzhensky does not let us close? Something is wrong? And so every time, with bated breath, you are waiting for a meeting with IT, and you know that it depends on how the year goes. But still, the hope was burning in my heart that even now Porzhensky would be glad to meet, and at least for a short while the sun would look out, and the very next day to wonder if there was sun behind these low gray clouds? And so it happened, only the sun shone until the evening. It took a long time to walk through a sad late autumn forest, a tractor-worn road, tied to the waist in a brown slush, cheering with words “The road to the Temple should not be easy”, and then - to sail a boat along the Bolshoe, Sredneye, Maloye Porzhensky lakes, connecting their ducts with traces of violent activity of beavers along the banks. And a lot of doubts, even fear in the soul - what IT looks like after so many difficult years of restoration, and even in color! What if suddenly IT is feeling bad, uncomfortable in such "clothes"? 

Another turn - and here IT is, Porzhensky churchyard, Treasure of the Park, the Intersection of the Worlds (forecasts doesn't matter - IT determines how to meet), proud and lonely among the vast silent space. First, a wooden fence, behind it the mighty spruce of the holy grove and in the depths - the Church of St. George the Victorious. An amazing place, a meeting place with a soul, a moment of truth, an insight. And it seems like there are so many hidden, sacred, "secret" large and small spaces in the Park, but it is here that you feel sharply what is real and what is vanity. 

I will not dwell in detail on the construction periods of the churchyard, its restructures at different times. One thing is certain, it is unique, it is a masterpiece. Back in 1973, the famous Russian researcher G.V. Alferova wrote about the St. George Church, as the only surviving specimen of a church with a spiked roof in the North.
Most of all we worried about the painting, given the negative example of the Lyadinsky churchyard: how many doubts, mental anguish fr om the complete rejection of the painting to the "truth is dearer." The decision was preceded by work in the state archives of the Republic of Karelia, the Arkhangelsk region. It is known for certain that in 1875 the walls of the Church of St. George were first sheathed and painted. Obviously, since then it has repeatedly been repainted depending on the availability of colors among the peasants and their taste preferences, but what was the last color? Artists-restorers of All-Russian Art Scientific and Restoration Center named after I.E. Grabar helped to answer that question. They in their Moscow laboratory carried out the most thorough spectral analysis of the preserved boards from the dome and the church sheathing. In addition, they performed work on the restoration of the Heavens of the church, the frames of the iconostases, and the paneled door of the fence. And one more miracle is the dating inscription discovered by restorers on one of the facets of the Heavens in the prayer hall. 

I foresee that there will be objectors. They have their right, but I would like to have reasoned discussions. We did it, and, in my opinion, this is the only example in Russia today when the restoration of a religious monument of this magnitude not only begun, but was also completed. Please also note that the nearest village wh ere there is electricity is 14 km away. Of course, as deficiencies are indicated in any act, weather conditions did not allow to paint the entire roof of the fence, all these works will be completed in the spring of 2016, but this is really a small amount compared to what was done.
Well, the grand opening will take place next year, when we will install copies of Heavens in the church and when the Park turns 25 years old. I am glad such a gift. 

Thanks to Mikhail Vasilievich Lomonosov, thanks to whose anniversary that conversation with V.V. Putin took place about the sad fate of the monuments of wooden architecture, after which the financing of restoration work began. Thanks to everyone involved in this enormous undertaking: scientists, architects, art historians, carpenters-restorers, painting restorers, Park employees. Thanks! All these names, as well as the history of the restoration of the churchyard, will be written at the stands at Porzhensky churchyard.
And, as a finale6 a flock of smoking swans over the Porzhensky lakes, as if sadly bid farewell to this wonder of the world until next year. There was a thought, they liked IT. And the sun, as a sign that everything went wright.