On 17th of May at the Amur Regional Museum of Local Lore of G.S. Novikov-Daursky, the ceremony of transferring an ancient icon found at the construction site of the new Zeya Bridge to the museum’s collection was held.
The builder of USK MOST JSC, Alexander Vaygandt, who detected the icon, received a letter of acknowledgment from the Minister of Culture and National Policy of the Amur Region, Nadezhda Dorgunova. The worker promptly informed the head of the site about the find, after which the work in the foundation pit of the new bridge was stopped until the arrival of the experts.
“From the Government of the Amur Region I would like to thank you for such a valuable gift to our museum, we are very glad that you made this decision yourself, and it will enrich the collection of our museum,”said Nadezhda Dorgunova.
“I was digging with a shovel, it swam up to my feet along with the mud, I thought it was the plate which welders were cutting, so, I threw it aside; just 15 minutes later it swam back, then I lifted it up and washed it – it looked like an icon,”said about the find the erector of steel and reinforced concrete structures of USK MOST JSC, Alexander Vaygandt.
“We promptly notified the Customer and the State Inspectorate for the Protection of Cultural Heritage Sites of the Amur Region, the work in this place was suspended,”added the Chief of the project and the Head of the branch office of USK MOST JSC, Eduard Davydov.
The next day after the discovery, experts from the State Inspectorate for the Protection of Cultural Heritage Objects, as well as the Center for the Preservation of the Historical and Cultural Heritage of the Amur Region, arrived at the construction site.
“We examined the site of the discovery. The site consists of silt deposit drifted by the river – there is definitely no layer in which other finds may be located, so this finding can be considered as an accidental one. Apparently, it was just brought by the stream, the construction can be continued. There are no artifacts in the place, all the walls have been examined and cleaned, the cultural layer is absent,”explained Denis Volkov, Director of the State Autonomous Institution Cultural Heritage Center of the Amur Region.
After an expert examination, it was confirmed that the icon dates back to the 19th century. It depicts Saints Zosima and Sabbatius of Solovki.