Russian church restored on Greek islet to commemorate 1821: "Symbol of unity and friendship"

Russian Church Sphacteria islet

It took two years of preparation and two months of work to restore the Russian church, a symbol of the Sphacteria islet, which was associated with the Greek Revolution of 1821 and the Battle of Navarino.

On the morning of October 18, on the rocky islet near Pylos, the bells of the church that was erected by the Greek community in Russia almost three decades ago and was in danger of collapsing due to humidity will ring again.

Just seven people implemented the plan to restore a traditional wooden Russian church in just two months.

A plan that faced a series of bureaucratic difficulties and obstacles.

This is what Dora Giannitsi, director of the Centre for Greek Culture - K.E.P. explained to and expressed her excitement because she will be in Sphacteria to inaugurate the church together with the other inspirers of the project.

"A church will be a symbol of Greek-Russian friendship and its restoration symbolises the unity of the two peoples - the Greek and the Russian - on a cultural, spiritual and historical level," said Giannitsi.

"We had to save the church from erosion as it is, among other things, a tribute to the struggle of Russian sailors who contributed to the liberation of Greece in the Battle of Navarino, helping to establish the Greek state," she added.

It is noted that the restoration was included, on the Russian side, in the official events of the Tribute Year of Greek-Russian History 2021.

The inauguration will be attended by representatives of local municipal and ecclesiastical authorities, the Russian embassy in Athens and the instigators of the project.

Giannitsi is also expected to present her new book.

This is a recent publication that emerged after a thorough historical research in official Russian state archives entitled: "200 years of the Greek National Liberation Revolution of 1821. The Battle of Navarino in the archives of the State Library of Russia."

"There you will find the first map of the Battle of Navarino and documents from historians, travelers, sailors and officers who participated and conducted the naval voyages of the Russians in the Aegean and Ionian," said the author.

"Regarding the restoration, nothing would have happened without the facilities of the municipality of Pylos Nestoros and the mayor Panagiotis Karvelas who undertook the transport of the 30 cubic metre containers with the materials of the restoration, as well as the transport of the workers," said Giannitsi.

At the same time, she expressed gratitude to the entire restoration team and especially to the architect Vladimir Nosov.

She hastened to thank the inspirer and leader of the whole project Igor Prochortsuk for the effort and personal work he submitted to the main financier of the project, Kirill Gromov.

Giannitsi contributed in her capacity as a representative of the Messinian amphitheatre for Russia and president of the organization for Europe.

Regarding the book, the author states that it was published with the financing of the expatriate businessman Andreas Iliopoulos.

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