15th-century painters' remains exhumed

May 21, 2006

The Moscow Patriarchate has kept secret for years the discovery of the remains of an esteemed icon-painter, Andrei Rublev, and his elder colleague.

Russia's Novosti News Agency reports that the remains, found under an alter at St. Andronicus, has been a Patriarchate secret for at least 10 years.

Rublev and fellow icon-painter Daniil Cherny died around 1430. While restoring the Savior's Cathedral in 1992, an excavation team discovered numerous graves.

Forensic anthropologist Sergei Nikitin, hired to study specific graves, discovered that the corpses of two monks had been exhumed and reburied. It was only recently revealed that the corpses are those of the two 15th-century icon-painters.

The two painters were difficult to identify because, as monks, they lived in anonymity and never signed their works, Novosti said.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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