Here is a lovely Byzantine piece sung in Greek by the Serbian singer Divna Ljubojevic. It is less than two minutes, but, what a world is compressed into that short span.
Monday, 20 October 2008
Interior of the Museum of Russian Icons, Clinton MA
The Tretyakov Gallery is presenting an exhibition of 16 rare icons from its collection entitled “Two Museums, One Culture” at the Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton MA (USA). At the same time, some 150 items from the permanent collection shall be on display, as well. About 5,000 visitors, mostly from various European countries, came to the museum in 2007, Kent Russell, the Museum’s director, said in an interview published by the newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta (The Russian Newspaper) on Thursday. “Frankly speaking, many Americans thought that religion was banned in Russia, but, they are starting to change their minds, especially after visiting our museum”, he noted.
The museum holds various conferences and seminars; in addition, it shows films connected with Russia. What is most important, Mr Russell noted, “Americans gradually come to an understanding that the USA and Russia have much more in common than they differ. I’d like to mention our most frequent visitor. He is an American who adopted several children from Russia. He brings them here several times a year so that they can be reminded of their Motherland”, Mr Russell said. The Museum of Russian Icons in America is famous for the largest collection of Old Russian art outside of Russia. This last February, Archpriest Aleksandr Abramov, the secretary of the Representation of the MP in the USA, blessed the museum and its grounds.
The museum was founded in 2006 by the American businessman Gordon Lankton. He visited Russia for the first time in 1989, and he bought his first icon, depicting St Nicholas the Wonderworker, at the Izmailovsky Market in Moscow for 20 dollars (528 roubles. 15 euros. 11.64 UK pounds). After this, he began to collect Russian icons from all over the world. One of the most ancient of his purchases now at the museum is an icon of the Holy Prophet and Forerunner John the Baptist, which dates from around 1450. At present, the collection consists of 350 items, but not all are continuously on exhibition. Only after the completion of a new addition shall the entire collection be on public view. The icons were acquired at auctions in the USA and Europe, mostly coming from private collections. Several of the icons were gifts. The cost of one of the gift icons was conservatively estimated at 40,000 dollars (1.056 million roubles. 30,008 euros. 23,280 UK pounds).
16 October 2008
The admittance cost to this museum is very reasonable, being 5 dollars per adult. It is open from Tuesday to Friday, 11.00 to 15.00 and on Saturday, 09.00 to 15.00. It is closed on Sunday and Monday. The special exhibition “Two Museums, One Culture” shall run from 16 October 2008 to 1 May 2009. On Saturdays at 12.00, during the run of the special exhibition, Mr Lankton, the founder of the museum, shall give a guided tour of the collection. A special rate of 4 dollars per person applies to “civic groups”, no doubt, a parish group would qualify. To find directions, google “Museum of Russian Icons Clinton” and it is the first item shown, and a link to a map is available. Clinton MA is one hour due west of Boston MA and two hours due east of Albany NY.
By the way, the Interfax English translator earns yet another “Big Green Weenie Award” for cutting out about a third of the text from the Russian original. We’re just going to have to call out the bleacher creatures from Fenway to deal with them! This is lazy and beyond words.
Interfax! Fire that incompetent, they’re making you look stupid.
Museum of Russian Icons
203 Union Street
Clinton MA 01510
Telephone: (978). 598-5000
Fax: (978). 598-5009
Rav Berel Lazar (1964- ), the Chief Rabbi of Russia, the head of the FEOR (Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia), member of the Public Chamber of Russia
Rav Berel Lazar, the Chief Rabbi of Russia, said he believes that Washington’s delays in abrogating the anti-Russian Jackson-Vanick Amendment hurts the interests of the Jewish community and have political motives. “We had several meetings both with [US] President George W. Bush and representatives of the US Department of State. Our position is very clear. We believe that the American side made a big mistake when it refused to repeal this amendment. This step would have benefited the US itself”, Rav Lazar said in an interview with the newspaper Nenavisimaya Gazeta-Religii (The Independent Newspaper-Religion) published on Wednesday.
“A move to repeal the Jackson-Vanick amendment would demonstrate Washington’s understanding and recognition of the very substantial changes that have taken place in Russia in the past two decades. This amendment should have been cancelled as soon as the Jews of the USSR received the freedom to emigrate. But, this did not occur. At first, it seemed that the Americans were waiting to see if the change was going to be permanent. In very short order, anyone could see that”, the rabbi said. Jews have been able “to emigrate and to freely travel to various countries and return home” for a long time, Rav Lazar said. As of today, more than 100,000 people have returned from Israel to Russia, the rabbi said. “No one forced them to return. It was their free choice”, he noted.
“But, then, the fundamental issue of free movements was suddenly replaced by economic interests for some unknown reason. Some started to tie the annulment of the amendment to the issue of American poultry imports to Russia. Our people and their spiritual freedom were placed on the same level with chickens! Russia received a signal. Quite possibly, it was a political matter from the very beginning, it was not an issue driven by the desire to protect human rights”, according to Rav Lazar. “In my opinion, refusing to repeal the amendment harms the Jewish people. The result is that our cause was hijacked to serve different purposes”, he said.
Rav Lazar went on to say that we see today a worsening in Russian-American relations, “of such a scale that was impossible to imagine only a few years ago”. He expressed the conviction that the refusal to repeal the Jackson-Vanick Amendment played a large role in this souring of relations. “Unfortunately, even if the amendment were cancelled today, the positive political result that would have occurred then shall not happen now. At present, sadly, this question appears to off the agenda”. Rav Lazar added that “many aspects of American foreign policy appear to have lost their grounding in principle”.
The US Congress passed the Jackson-Vanick Amendment in 1974 as a response to anti-Semitism in the USSR and the refusal of the Soviet government to allow Jews to emigrate to Israel. It introduced trade restrictions aimed at the USSR and its allies.
15 October 2008
This article wins yet another “Big Green Weenie Award” for the Interfax translator. A third of the piece was missing! This person routinely cuts out criticism of the USA and the Catholics. Hmm… is it an expat? No… the English is too poor in the original translation (which is why I go back to the original Russian).
In any case, we need to call out Wally the Big Green Monster and Mr Bird to go out to Moscow and give this individual a good thwacking behind the barn. This is in the considered opinion of the assembled Solons of the Dawg Pound (I am speaking of the old unreconstructed Riverfront Stadium variety). Woof!