Icon Belonging to Alexander III Returned to Gatchina
Topic: Alexander III
A unique icon that once belonged to Emperor Alexander III has been returned to the palace at Gatchina.
The Introduction to the Virgin in the Temple icon was presented to the emperor in honour of the 10th anniversary of his coronation which took place in Moscow in 1883.
The icon which was carved from cypress wood, by Cosmas Agriotom, a monk from the Russian Skete of the Holy Prophet Elijah on Mount Athos.
The icon was stolen by the Nazis while fleeing from Gatchina during the Second World War, but was recently acquired by collector Vladimir Logvinenko when it came up for auction at Christie's.
Logvinenko discovered who the original owner of the icon was after making the purchase. On the back of the icon was a piece of oilcloth, which he carefully removed, only to discover the identity of its August owner. The icon has been returned to Gatchina during an official handing over ceremony where it is expected to go on display in the palace-museum.
© Royal Russia. 9 June, 2011