A Prayer Mass Was Held to Honor the Smolensk Mother of God Icon
On 10 August a prayer mass was held on the foundation of the destroyed Church of the Smolensk Mother of God Icon. The mass was held on the icon’s feast day, which coincides with the soon-to-begin construction of a new church.
The mass was conducted by a priest from the Church of Maria Magdalena on the Vasilevsky Island of St. Petersburg, which is the Orthodox Church body responsible for the reconstruction of the Church of the Smolensk Mother of God Icon. The mass was sung by a choir, and it was organized by the Foundation for the Reconstruction of Christian Cultural Monuments, which was created to realise the reconstruction of the Church of the Smolensk Mother of God Icon. Believers from the nearby village of Shushari, as well as St. Petersburg, attended the mass.
Church of the Smolensk Mother of God Icon once stood in the village of Pulkovo, and was built in 1785 by the architect Giacomo Quarenghi (1744 - 1817). The Soviet government closed the church in 1938, and it was destroyed in 1943, during World War II. The only thing that now remains is the church foundation and a deep basement, as well as the foundation of the priest’s house.
The remains of the church foundation were discovered when construction began on ExpoForum’s new convention and exhibition centre. ExpoForum JSC decided to pay tribute to the great Italian architect who built many architectural masterpieces in St. Petersburg, and to the Pulkovo village inhabitants killed during the war. With the blessing of the Russian Orthodox Church it was decided to rebuild the church based on the architect's original drawings, and photos found in the state archives. Towards this goal, the Charitable Fund for the Reconstruction of the Monuments of Christian culture was established. Besides ExpoForum JSC, its founders include Balt-Klin-Komplekt Ltd, and Financial and Industrial Centre Ltd.
ExpoForum JSC and Etalon Holding Company signed an agreement for construction of the first structures at St. Peterburg's future convention and exhibition centre. This convention centre will be built according to the highest international standards and will be the city's leading complex for conventions and exhibitions.The contract is worth 14 billion rubles (about ?354 mln).