The metal icon was discovered on Saturday, May 1, by the workers of USK MOST JSC during the excavation of a pit for the construction of support No. 7 of the bridge over the Zeya River. Today, on May 2, the employees of the State Inspectorate for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of the Amur Region and the center for the preservation of cultural heritage of the region examined the territory of the place where the icon was found.
“The icon was found at a depth of 7.5 meters below the water level, in silt. The relic, judging by the large sediments layer, was laying in this place for many years, gradually sinking deeper and deeper into the ground. It is noteworthy that at first the worker who discovered the icon mistook it for a piece of metal and threw it aside. But the flow of water brought the icon to his feet again. After that, the worker Alexander Vaygandt looked at the object more closely and realized that it was not just a piece of metal. The employees of USK MOST JSC immediately handed the icon over to the State Inspectorate for the Protection of Cultural Heritage Sites in the Amur Region. I especially would like to thank them for this,”said Vitaly Rebizant, Head of the State Inspection for the Protection of Cultural Heritage Sites in the Amur Region.
The icon will be sent for a historical and cultural examination, after which its historical, cultural or any other artistic value will be determined.
According to the preliminary conclusion of Irina Ermatsans, the candidate of historical sciences, this is an icon of the 18th century. It depicts Saints Zosima and Sabbatius of Solovki. It is noteworthy that one of the feast days of these saints defined by the Russian Orthodox Church falls on April 30.
Since no other items of historical and cultural value have been detected in the place where the icon has been found, there is no need in suspension of construction works at this site for any further survey.
In the future, it is planned to send the icon to the Amur Regional Museum of Local Lore.
Source: Government of the Amur Region