Museums, libraries and monasteries in Athens, Thessaloniki, Kastoria, Veria, Corinth, Sparta, Rhodes, Argos, Chalcis, Boeotia, Serres, Lesbos and the Cyclades have provided items for display in St Petersburg. Never before has such a representative delegation of Byzantine “fine art” come to Russia from Greece.
On 24 June 2016, as part of the Year of Greece in Russia and Russia in Greece 2016, the exhibition Byzantium through the Centuries will open in the State Hermitage as one of the main events of this cross-cultural year. The exhibition has been organized by the State Hermitage and the Ministry of Culture and Sports of the Hellenic Republic.
The items included in the exhibition span the whole lifetime of Byzantine culture, from the early centuries to the fall of Constantinople to the Turks in 1453. They comprise sculpture; fragments of floor and wall mosaics; fragments of frescoes; bronze liturgical vessels; gold jewellery; cloisonné enamels; a unique two-metre 13th-century Shroud of Christ from Thessaloniki; illuminated manuscripts of the 10th–15th centuries, many of which are famous examples featured in books; and, of course, painted icons of the 12th to mid-15th centuries, supplemented by a unique mosaic Virgin Episkepsis.