Yelena Kiseleva

May, 27 2002


Today the bell-ringer of the Moscow Kremlin and Temple of Christ the Savior Igor Konovalov opened the second All-Russian exhibition of bells in the Russian city of Yaroslavl. The old craft of bell casting is being revived in Russia for about ten years already after 70-year silence of Russian bells. The exhibition presents works of bell-founders from the Russian cities of Voronezh, Tutayev, Kamensk-Uralsky, and Moscow [including, among others, Pyatkov & Co., ZiL, and Vera LLC, which are all represented in America by Blagovest Bells].

It is not accidental that Yaroslavl was chosen for the exhibition. A very old tradition will be soon revived here: Russia's famous bell casting factory owned by the Olovyanishnikovs and smaller, but still very significant bell-producing enterprises functioned here 200 years ago. Thanks to a pre-revolution edition of a book by Nikolay Olovyanishnikov 'History of bells and the art of bell casting' the art has been successfully revived by contemporary masters. Descendants of the merchant still live in Yaroslavl. 

Really unique exhibits are presented at the exhibition. For example, a 200-pood bell (one pood is Russia's old measure of weight that makes 16,3 kg) made by ten masters from Russian city of Tutayev within six months. Another large bell was brought to the exhibition from [Vera LLC of] Voronezh. The two mentioned are the largest bells presented at the exhibition within past two years. 

Many exhibits have already found its new owners right at the exhibition. Seven bells cast in Kamensk-Uralsky [by the Pyatkov foundry] will be taken to the nunnery near Poshekhonje in September. There is not a single bell in the nunnery, although the restoration started almost a year ago. Other exhibits will be also sent to Russia's Orthodox Churches as soon as the exhibition ends. 

Traditionally, whole communities collect money to have bells cast, because they are expensive due to their copper and tin content, and to the complexity of the casting process.

The citizens of Yaroslavl believe that sound of their ancient bells always call people back home, to the old Russian city of Yaroslavl.

Translated by Maria Gousseva

The original url of this article is http://english.pravda.ru/culture/2002/05/27/29353.html. Many thanx to Pravda!