Victor Yushchenko met with Ivan Vasyunyk, Deputy Secretariat Chief-of-Staff, Oleksandr Omelchenko, Kyiv Mayor, and Nelya Kukovalska, Director of the Kyiv Sophia Reserve. They discussed a project to complexly preserve, renew and restore the reserve, the President's press office reported.
Restorers face great challenges ahead: restoring the Sophia Cathedral, renewing the Metropolitan’s House and the Zaborivsky Gate, and regenerating the surrounding territory.
The President stressed that the preservation and restoration of the Kyiv Sophia was one of the tasks of government’s humanitarian policy: “Each part of this great integral project is very important and the most complicated in the history of Ukraine’s restorations.”
According to the project, we have to inspect the current state of the Sophia Cathedral and its iconography before renewing its domes, mosaic floor,conditioning system, and basements. While restoring the Metropolitan’s house, workers should preserve all architectural layers of this building, which has been rebuilt three times. The renewed premise might be used to open a graphics school, a ceremonial hall, or an architecture museum. To regenerate the surrounding territory, municipal services should replace underground cables and pipes and plant new trees and bushes, considering historical peculiarities. They also plan to develop the so-called satellite tourist infrastructure (hotels, restaurants, parking lots, souvenir shops) in the area.
The Head of State asked business leaders to take part in the project to restore this sacred place. He suggested we should found a council of philanthropists to implement it.
“It would be very important if the council of philanthropists put the development and preservation of our sacred places first. This interest should outweigh any political or economic interest,” he said.
One of such people is Rinat Akhmetov, the owner of System Capital Management and one of the richest men in Ukraine. He agreed to sponsor the project.
*The Kyiv Sophia Reserve has fifty-four architectural sights. Its workers claim that the cathedral and the surrounding territory have not been restored in the past two centuries. The last attempt to do it was made in 1970s.
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