The Ukrainian Ministry of Culture will conduct an audit of more than 800 museum pieces, including relics of saints, housed in the Kiev Caves Monastery after the monks were expelled from its premises. Culture Minister Alexander Tkachenko stressed that there will be a separate audit to determine the extent to which these museum pieces have been preserved. He also warned that there will be criminal consequences if it is discovered that these valuable objects were moved elsewhere.
The Kiev Caves Monastery, which is the oldest in Ukraine, was ordered to vacate the national park in which it is located by March 29. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church has denounced this measure, calling it an “ultimatum” and stating that there are no legal grounds for the eviction. Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, has asked religious leaders and international organizations to “do everything possible” to prevent the expulsion of the monks from the Kiev Caves Monastery, also known as the Lavra.
Despite being one of the most prominent holy places of the Eastern Orthodox religion, the Kiev Caves Monastery, like numerous temples belonging to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, has been under a wave of pressure from the Kiev authorities since last fall. Despite the fact that the last audit took place in 2018 and that all the objects are on the list, searches have been conducted there. The Minister of Culture has made it clear that any steps that may be taken by representatives of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate regarding movable property, especially museum pieces, will be searched and there will be criminal liabilities.
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