On July 7, an epochal event took place in the life of the Erzia Foundation – our team donated a copy of the statue of John the Baptist to the museum of the Trinity-Sergius Lavra! The date was not chosen by chance, because on this day the Nativity of John the Baptist is celebrated.
This large-scale project has been prepared by the President of the Foundation, Mikhail Zhuravlev, for several years. The ceremony was attended by the rector of the Moscow Orthodox Theological Academy Anton Novikov, Bishop Feodorit of Zvenigorod, philanthropist Sergei Puntus, Plenipotentiary Representative of the Republic of Moldova under the President of the Russian Federation Svetlana Fedonina and other honored guests.
In the Lavra Museum, a copy of the statue of John the Baptist is now in the hall of Catholic art next to the sculpture “Christ” by the Florentine author Raffaello Romanelli. Mikhail Zhuravlev noted how important it is to acquaint the younger generation with church traditions and drew attention to the fact that now students of the MDA will also get acquainted with the work of Erzia. He recalled that Erzya himself began his career with the skill of icon painting.
Interestingly, the tinting of this copy of the Baptist was done by the relatives of Stepan Erzia himself, Georgy Molchanovsky, a graduate of the Stroganov Academy, and student Anna Molchanovskaya.
“John the Baptist” can be seen not only in the Lavra. The original of the restored sculpture is located in Italy in the town of Fezzano, one of the copies found a home in the Museum of Diocesan Art in La Spezia, and the other takes a worthy place in the collection of the Erzia Foundation and is exhibited at the Erzia-Centre. The copy that we handed over to the Moscow Theological Academy was removed from it!