TUROV, 2 May (BelTA) – Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko donated a recreated Turov Cross to the Cathedral of Sts. Cyril and Lavrentiy of Turov as he visited the church to mark Easter on 2 May. The cross was lost after the earthquake that destroyed the cathedral in the 13th century, BelTA has learned.
Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized the symbolism that on the day of the Holy Easter one of the sacred objects of Belarus returned to the main Orthodox church of the city. “Good and light always come back to people. Even following the centuries,” the president said.
In his words, the temple was built in Turov not long ago, already in the history of the independent country, and now the Turov Cross will take its place. The work on this masterpiece has taken three years. “When I was presenting For Spiritual Revival Award on Christmas, including to the authors of the restored shrine, I said: life is so short, let us not waste it on empty words and destruction,” the Belarusian leader said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko said that as president he was lucky to be part of the restoration of Belarusian shrines, including the Euphrosyne of Polotsk Cross and now the Turov Cross.
Over the past few years, Belarus has been working to recreate the altar cross of the diocese of Turov of the 12th-13th centuries. It belongs to the erecting (altar) crosses of the Byzantine and Old Russian temples. A famous Belarusian relic - the cross of Venerable Euphrosyne of Polotsk – can be named among them.
Back in 1962, during the excavations of the Turov settlement, four lead icons - of the Blessed Virgin Mary and three saints - were discovered on the layer of the 12th-13th centuries. According to scientists, they were located on the altar cross. The cross itself was the main sanctuary of the diocese of Turov and was kept on the altar of the cathedral of the city. It is known that the temple was destroyed by an earthquake in the first half of the 13th century.
The decision has been recently taken to recreate the Turov cross. The corresponding order was given by Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko on 16 June 2017 during his visit to the Polesie State Radiation and Ecological Reserve. In August 2019, the concept of the Turov cross was approved by the then Metropolitan Pavel of Minsk and Zaslavl. The work began in the autumn. Two identical crosses were made according to medieval technologies – the one for the diocese of Turov and the other for the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus.