PHOTO: the restored bronze bust of Emperor Nicholas II, installed and consecrated on 27th September 2022, on the grounds of the Church of the Exaltation of the Cross, Livadia
On the morning of 27th September, a restored bronze bust of Emperor Nicholas II was unveiled and consecrated on the grounds of the Church of the Exaltation of the Cross – the home church of the Russian Imperial Family, at Livadia Palace in Crimea. The event is dedicated to the 111th anniversary of the Grand Livadia Palace.
The sculptural image was discovered at Livadia in 1994 by Oleg Anatolyevich Permyakov, a representative of the Foundation for Slavic Literature and Culture. Due to the extensive damage, which consisted of extensive mold and bullet holes, Permyakov was unaware of the identity of the bust, however, he was convinced that it was that of an important statesman from the Tsarist era.
He contacted People’s Artist of Russia Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Klykov (1939-2006) who, after conducting a comparative analysis of historic photographs and portraits of the Russian Imperial Family from the late 19th to early 20th centuries, Klykov came to the conclusion that this was a bust of the last Russian Emperor Nicholas II.
The restoration of the bust was financed by the Russian philanthropist, and honorary member of the board of trustees of the Public International Foundation for Slavic Literature and Culture Sergei Kozubenko. Klykov removed the mold and repaired the damage inflicted by Bolshevik bullets.
PHOTO: detail of the restored bronze bust of Emperor Nicholas II, installed and consecrated on 27th September 2022, on the grounds of the Church of the Exaltation of the Cross, Livadia
In 2003, a new bust was cast from the restored bust, and installed on the grounds of the Church of the Holy Martyrs Faith, Hope, Love in Kursk. The bust marked the historic visit and stay of Emperor Nicholas II and members of the Imperial Family at the large military maneuvers, held on the outskirts of the city in August-September 1902.
A plaster copy of the bust was also installed in the central columned hall of the Fund for Slavic Literature and Culture in Moscow.
According to the restoration plan of the sculptor Vyacheslav Klykov, the bust had to return to its’ historical place, the Livadia Palace, the residence of Emperor Nicholas II, situated on the southern coast of Crimea. This return was supposed to symbolize the restoration of the connection between the generations of Russians, broken as a result of the revolution and the Civil War. To become a symbol of repentance and the return of modern Russia to its historical roots, the origins of its cultural identity.
Sadly, the great sculptor did not live to see the realization of his plan. Klykov’s idea was implemented by his friend, Sergey Pavlovich Kozubenko, who organized the return of the bust to Livadia Palace.
PHOTO: Sergei Kozubenko (left), and Oleg Anatolyevich Permyakov (second from right), at the unveiling of the restored bust of Emperor Nicholas II on the grounds of the Church of the Exaltation of the Cross, Livadia,
The opening ceremony was attended by the Minister of Culture of the Republic of Crimea Tatyana Manezhina , noting the importance of a respectful attitude to the historical and cultural heritage of the country.
“Each monument of history and culture embodies a tangible connection between the past and the present, which allows for the study of national history for future generations. It is especially important and significant that public organizations and individuals take part in the preservation and popularization of Russia’s cultural heritage. I am sure that our joint efforts will contribute to the preservation of the traditions and rich spiritual heritage of Russia,” the minister stated.
PHOTO: view of the Church of the Exaltation of the Cross, which is connected by a gallery to the palace
Tatyana Manezhina also expressed her gratitude to the staff of the Republican Museum, representatives of the Public International Fund for Slavic Culture and Literature, personally to Sergei Kozubenko for his initiative and assistance in finding and restoring the lost and damaged sculptural image of the former owner of the Livadia Palace, Emperor Nicholas II.
The consecration of the bust was performed by Nestor Bishop of Yalta. The event was attended by Sergey Kozubenko, Head of the Yalta city administration Yanina Pavlenko , local government officials, members of the clergy, and the general public.
VIDEO: unveiling and consecration of the restored bronze bust of Emperor Nicholas II on the grounds of the Church of the Exaltation of the Cross, Livadia. Click to watch.
A total of four monuments to Emperor Nicholas II have now been installed in Crimea: two on the grounds of Livadia Palace, one in Evpatoria and one in Alushta.
© Paul Gilbert. 27 September 2022